Liberia: Lonestar MTN Rejecting Passports As ID for SIM Retrieval and Other Transactions

Monrovia — Decision by Lonestar Cell MTN to reject Liberian passports during financial transactions at the company's offices in and out of Monrovia has sparked outrage from Liberians and foreign nationals alike.

Commercial agents of the company told customers Monrovia they were not accepting passports to retrieve sim cards and lost mobile money codes and all other financial transaction, but rather the National Identification Cards.

The decision, according to Liberians, is "embarrassing" and "unpatriotic" on the part of the company.

The secretary general of the Press Union of Liberia, Musa Kanneh, was among many other Liberians whose passports were rejected.

Kanneh told FrontPageAfrica he visited the Broad Street branch of the company to retrieve his Mobile Money pincode and was not served due to the lack of National ID card.

"I met a security officer who directed me to the desks responsible for the recovery of Mobile Money pincode.

"I explained my problems and they accepted to do the recovery but requested for identification card, it was at this point that I presented a valid Liberian passport to the gentleman who rejected it insisting that he only accepts National ID Card," he explained.

This is completely illegal and a bad precedence being set by the government and its co- conspirator Lonestar Cell MTN, the PUL SG said.

He said it is time to legally challenge these illegalities meted against ordinary Liberians in the name of getting more revenue.

He expressed shock that a Liberian passport is being rejected in Liberia by a Liberian-owned company and wondered what would happen if such was done in a foreign country.

Foreign nationals during business in Liberia were also victims of the company's decision, describing the act as "unworthy" for business people.

Some alleged they had to register their sim in the name of local Liberians who had National ID Card.

FrontPageAfrica investigation, however, discovered that staffers of the company were reportedly collecting $5 dollars to costumers for Liberian ID card to be picked up in a week.

Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA)'s Communications Director, Jarsey Burphy, meanwhile, has promised to address the issue upon approval of her bosses.

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