The National Communications Authority (NCA), has shut down a Radio station operating illegally in Dansoman, a suburb of Accra.
Radio Dam, was allegedly broadcasting on 104.9FM, in a small room in Dansoman. Officials of the NCA and some personnel from the Ghana Police Service stormed the premises Wednesday and shut it down after they became aware of the station’s illegal operations.
Operators of the station claimed they were only operating online but officials of the NCA found a secretly installed transmitter which transmitted their programs on 104.9FM.
The NCA in a statement said the station violated Section 3(1) of the Electronic Communications Act (2008), Act 775.
“Section 3(1) of the Electronics Communications Act (2008), Act 775, states that “except as otherwise provided under this Act a person shall not operate a public electronic communications service or network or provide a voice telephony service without an authorisation granted by the Authority.” The Electronic Communications Regulation, 2011, (LI 1991) further provides that “a person who seeks to provide of a broadcasting service shall make an application for a frequency authorisation to the Authority”.
“The operators of the frequency were also in breach of Section 73(1)(b)(c) of Act 775 which provides that a person who knowingly fails to comply with prescribed standards and requirements for the use of radio spectrum and provides electronic communication services without a licence where a licence is required commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.
“Operators of the illegal station had denied running an FM station, insisting that they only operated an online station. The NCA, however, has recordings of the station operating on the illegal frequency of 104.9FM. Upon checks on the premises, it was discovered that the transmitter, which was subsequently confiscated, had been hidden under the station’s banner.
“The Authority has consequently issued a Cease and Desist Order to the operators of the frequency. This order emphatically warns that if they do not desist from broadcasting the illegal broadcasting service, the NCA will cause their arrest and subsequent prosecution,” the NCA said.
The action by the NCA comes after some 131 radio stations were sanctioned early this year by the NCA for various offenses.
34 of them who were operating illegally in the country following the expiration of their licenses had their licenses revoked.
Some of the radio stations according to the NCA, had also refused to renew their license for close to 17 years.