‘Bandit’ phones targeted by NCC

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 2

Mobile phones purchased overseas are not allowed to be sold in Taiwan, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

“By law, communication equipment imported from overseas must be certified by the NCC first before it can be sold on the market,” said Lo Chin-hsien (羅金賢), deputy director of the NCC’s technologies administration department. “People who purchase mobile phones from overseas can bring no more than five of them when they enter the country.”

Lo said the buyers can use them without being punished. However, those who sell them may face a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000 for violations, he said.

Lo said the NCC launched inspections last month to net illegal transactions of non-brand mobile phones, locally known as “bandit” cellphones, adding that the measure was meant to protect consumer safety.

Bandit cellphones are generally made to closely resemble branded mobile phones and are equipped with similar functions, but cost less than half the price.