Indian driver banned from travel over unpaid phone bills

An Indian in Saudi Arabia has been slapped with a travel ban over his inability to pay staggeringly high phone bills for SIM cards that he claimed were falsely registered under his name, a media report said Sunday.

IANS| Last Updated: Jul 20, 2014, 19:54 PM IST

Riyadh: An Indian in Saudi Arabia has been slapped with a travel ban over his inability to pay staggeringly high
phone bills for SIM cards that he claimed were falsely registered under his name, a media report said Sunday.
Shamsuddin Ansari, who is employed as a driver, has been issued with three outstanding phone bills worth over 22,000 Saudi
riyals (around $5,900) by Saudi Arabia`s leading telecom company in capital Riyadh, Arab News reported.


Ansari approached the telecom company to clear his name from the defaulters list, but to no avail.


The Indian driver filed a complaint with the police earlier this month.


He also sought help from the governor`s office in Saudi Arabia to clear his name.


"I am oblivious to where these bills have come up from. There are three SIM cards under my name and ID. I am a house driver and
cannot afford three SIM cards in the first place," the report quoted Ansari as saying.

Ansari claimed that his iqama copy has been misused.


An iqama is a residence permit issued to the expatriates who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa.


"There is a credit limit system in place and a driver such as myself would never be authorised to run up a bill beyond 1,000
Saudi riyals. Why, then, has the telecom company kept quiet about such a staggering amount?" he added.

Such incidents are on a rise in Saudi Arabia.


Nearly 20 Arab and Asian suspects were arrested in connection with the issuance of 15,884 SIM cards over the past seven months,
the report said.