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Sep 27, 2011

Register sim cards and phones or lose numbers

Raphael Martinez

There’s a new law that will kick in on October eleventh, which is bound to stir public debate over privacy issues. It is the mandatory registration of prepaid cellular numbers. According to a release by the Ministry of Police, both Belize Telemedia and SpeedNet will begin the registration under the Telecommunications Act and at the end of a six month period, those phones that have not been duly registered, will be disconnected. New cell phones acquired after October will have to be registered at the point of sale.

Raphael Martinez, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Police

“It’s cell phones and sim cards—sim cards in respect to Telemedia and cell phones with regard to SpeedNet.”

Jose Sanchez

“And what is the purpose? What are you expecting to be the result?”

Raphael Martinez

“Well basically we know that we have quite a few criminal activities that have taken place through the use of cell phones and it’s not secret; even behind the prison walls we find people conducting criminal activities through their cell phones. So this is one way to intercept these messages that they send out there and to try to get some convictions.”

Jose Sanchez

“So you are saying that if it’s attached to a name, it can be used for wire tapping; same as intercepting of messages.”

Raphael Martinez

“Exactly; once you’re registered, you can be recorded and the message can be used against you.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many cell phones or sim cards are we talking about that you expect to be registered in this period?”

Raphael Martinez

“Well that has to be ascertained by the service providers themselves—SpeedNet and of course Telemedia as well. They are actually doing their own P.R. Drive in this regard. It’s a six months period.”

Jose Sanchez

“And if people procrastinate and say well I am not going to do it?”

Raphael Martinez

“Well after the six months period is over, then you will be disconnected.”

Jose Sanchez

“And you will have to get a new card and you will still have to register?’

Raphael Martinez

“You will still have to register. So we want to stop that mad rush coming on to the end of March. So we want to appeal to the general public to as soon as possible to visit your service provider and starting from this month to register your phones. As a matter of fact, it has some good things as well. If you lose your phone, you can just call early and tell them listen my phone was lost—and you can retrieve your number as well as your credit. So that is a good aspect about it especially for those business persons and so on.”

Jose Sanchez

“Other than cell phone theft, what main crimes are you referring to that made this initiative mandatory or necessary?”

Raphael Martinez

“Well, we have quite a few criminal activities happening. As I mentioned earlier, people are behind the prison walls and are actually using their cell phones to make things happen out here. I mean this is just one intervention in many interventions that I think the Ministry of Police and Public Safety has taken up to ensure that we at least try to curb and stem this flow of crime that is happening within our society.”

Jose Sanchez

“But if it’s an issue that is mainly at the prison, can’t you just put the prison on lockdown; do cell searches?”

Raphael Martinez

“The prison is only one example that I am using, but I am sure that we have quite a few activities taking place. I mean drug activities—remember Belize is only a transshipment point for all these drug activities as well.”

The government says that the registration of telephones is a part of the government’s anti-crime initiatives. On Wednesday morning on Open Your Eyes, two attorneys will discuss the new law.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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43 Responses for “Register sim cards and phones or lose numbers”

  1. trudi says:

    Dumb a$$es. ODC, is this one of the things you’re impressing doug singh with? It’s not worth it and it’s too orwellian. it won’t fly.

    … and it will only give the PUP something new to promise to abolish when they get in.

  2. tunechi says:


  3. Risu says:

    What a pile of crap! It is idiots like these that we have running our country. Look at their logic: phones are used for criminal activity, hence we are passing legislation. Okay, clothes, sneakers, bikes, cars, houses, knives…they are all used in some way or another in criminal activities. I guess the next step would be to register all your knives or they will barge into your house and take them away.

  4. cg says:

    i totally agree with this law now the stalker who keeps texting me dirty messages can stop since she’ll have to register that phone……can’t wait!! people who need privacy obviously have some bad to hide….

  5. Gods Child says:



  6. Kamikaze says:

    The man cannot even provide solid arguments for the “new law”. Idiots is what they are. When will a practical law that respects the public be passed? The government system doesn’t care about careful research, they just push Belizeans towards what they “think” will work. Idiots, rude invasive idiots.

  7. belizeanpride says:

    this is stupid mein lets start buying TIGO cells from across and use them now since we can’t even have our privacy just like Gods child stated above. this is tapping our cell phone now. he states that in the prison cell phones are used why the hell do they allow the prisoners the luxury to have a phone no prison allows cell phones to no inmate it’s illegal. Well got to have a tigo now from melchor and works much better than the crap they have here really pisses me off to see the gov. making some stupid laws that never work. see the tint removal in cars they’re still killing even kids on the street what a scum of pm we have with no pride. no wonder he said that PUP will never have a good pm like HNR. G. C. PRICE shame on him since he can’t even be a wannabe.

  8. Alex says:

    bs. we know very well that the government is gonna use this for political purposes. U r already tapping my phone illegally so all you’re doing is to legalize your criminal acts. People within BTL are already selling print out of our texts…so what else now. this has nothing to do with crime, so save the bs for a retard, maybe u can get away with this.

  9. witoutstrugglethereisnoprogress says:

    this makes me think of the tinting law…………………..We need to find a way to un-tint bicycles

  10. Corozal Queen says:

    I hear register cell phone..wait our cell phone is our property…many of us only buy the sim from Telemedia…an purchase our cell phones elsewhere

  11. DT says:

    Well, both BTL & Speednet will have to take the lick, as i can’t see everyone registering. In fact I doubt if many more who haven’t done so already will.

    As for the phones in the Prison. Nationalise the place and then the prisoners and their cells can be searched constanlty and at random, and all cell phones removed. Any caught with one can face another year inside. Also set up a transmitter to block all signals within the prison, and leave it on 24/7. make convicted prisoners do hard labour too. If they don’t want to work, and put something back into the community, the taxpayers don’t have to feed them! They work for food, water, and maybe the odd little luxury – phone cards to call out (under supervision), for example.

  12. roska says:

    Mexico, a country with much resources to fight crime, applied that same law to fight crime….

    result…??? a total failure.. criminals still continue using stolen or dual cell phones and public phones to assist in their criminal activities… while many law abiding citizens lost their numbers upon re registering….

    Expected result in Belize??? same as with the banning of tint of vehicles…… NO IMPACT ON CRIME……

    Anybody saw the rider of the BICYCLE that shot the 16 year old Teck??? any tint needed??

  13. Clodo Morais says:

    This sounds like a violation of our privacy.

    Can’t the police tap the phones of the criminals and drug dealers?

    Why hassle honest, hardworking Belizeans?

    It will not deter crime, just like the tint issue.

  14. belizeanpride says:

    channel 5 make a poll and see how many people agree to this stupid gov. idea, mein can’t we have some privacy? this is politically motivate more than the crap idea of curbing the crime. can’t we have elections before the time please i’m getting fed up with the B.S barrow is doing. first the tinted and the killing keep going worst, now the cell phones what the hell do you want barrow, come to our house every 6 months and to check on our premises.

  15. reatph says:

    another way for big brother to be watching you. the bicycles are not tinted. they are using the new ride by stealth cologneavailable on the northside and southside of belize 24/7.

  16. Elgin Martinez says:

    What need to kick in is a witness protection program and more convictions.

  17. Elgin Martinez says:

    What about ensuring that everyone who has a weapon register it or lose it.That would make more sense.

  18. John says:

    On the surface, I don’t see what the fuss and bother is about: post paid cell phone numbers are registered to their owners. Ergo, why not pre-paid?

    Looking a little deeper, I do see a problem: Sale of phones with their prepaid # is very common. Example: I buy a fancy new phone and a new # to go with it. The neighbour likes my older Flipshot and buys it # and all.

    If the neighbour subsequently goes out and commits a crime and that crime involves use of the newly purchased Flipshot, am I as the original registered owner of that # considered liable?

    Me thinks that Doug best look at some safeguards vis a vis who is liable if the phone # is used in the commision of a criminal activity.

    Lastly: In the US, prepaid phones can be bought for cash, no ID requirred. As a result, they are very popular in criminal activities. I can see where the PoPo are coming from.

    Be that as may, the Police need have the regulations written so that they are not a burden on the 99% of us who are legitimate users of our phones.


  19. Kay says:

    Smart move dumb@$$#$…will this be as effective as the banning of dark tints. The only thing that one has succeeded in doing is destroying the upholstery in my vehicle from being scorched by the sun…THANKS A LOT!!! Will telemedia charge a fee to not have OUR REGISTERED NUMBERS entered in their directory??? I personally don’t need my cell number at anyone’s access…that is my “personal” access to the world and I’d like to keep it that way.

  20. c says:

    just like tinting… it wont stop crimes..waste of time!

  21. O.Walk observer says:

    First of al this is attacking crime from the wrong angle just as everything that has been tried up to now ie. GSU,DNA lab,BDF on the streets, bigger prison, more police on the street , better police trnsport and communication, and the list can go on; and oh the removal of tint from vehicles. Isn’t the right to privacy enshrined in the Belizean constitution, but now even the constitution is being messed with.
    No prison should allow inmates to pocess a cellular; this law will be just as the tint one, only for the poor and helpless. Even months after being passed you can still see expensive vehicles or with government plates being driven with real dark tint. The law for Butane dealers has been passed for months and up to now cannot be enforced be the government, shame! If the law for phone registration is passed, it will only show it’s negative side and shall have no inpact on crime. Criminals will always find a way just like stealing a gun to commit a crime then dash it away, they will do the same for phone steal one before commiting a crime and then getting rid of it. Who will be charged?? The innocent owner

  22. Vans says:

    I totally agree that this cell phone business is our personal and private business and we should keep it that way! One reason why i cut off my house phone was because there were a lot of idiots who had nothing to do and just called my number for i have no reason. I beleive that having your number private is very important. I have nothin to hide but privacy is very important for me and my family. I am currently a USD supporter but honestly don’t know were our government is going with this. They should be making laws to hang those who rape and take away the lived of innocent people and not making laws to tapp in your phone number. Come on Mr. PM – make sensible laws and make them work!

  23. KarmaCatchesCharmeleon says:

    This law does not make sense. It means that we also have to register a change of ownership and will also encourage theft of cell phones – so that the criminals can do the same thing they are doing now using a n innocent person’s name.

    I would want to understand how privacy will be controlled under this new law. Will the cellphone number and owner’s id be stored together or will they be kept separate and linkable only by authorized personnel? Will the police be able to ask for a link between a number and a phone number after it has flagged a suspicious message or at any time?

    There are too many opportunities for abuse of privacy. Instead of tracking phone messages, it would be much more beneficial to track if students are attending school.

  24. Areli says:

    i surely dont agree with this non sense, hellooooooooooooo!!!!! everybody needs privacy, now ur number will be like top headline news or like on a bilboard so clearly everybody can see. wow some people or the ones doinh this really like the feeling of controll, this di soon get like cuba now!!! or worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  25. Fix It says:

    Incredible. This is the slow drip drip of the 90% of Belize’s populace not engaged in crime LOSING THEIR RIGHTS. What guarantee do you have that this won’t be used against you? What safeguards are there? How well has this been thought through? Who was consulted?

    Wake up from your slumber people. Every little thing will NOT be alright.

    The ninth amendment will not bring you lower electricity bills, preventative detention was a rotten idea which would have allowed for gross abuse, forced registration of cell phones and sim cards by their own admission will enable the state to ‘intercept’ messages – what check and balance is there to prevent abuse/misuse? What assurances have they given?

    What will happen at election time? Emails are already regularly ‘intercepted’.

    What happened to this government taking the high road? How quickly it has been abandoned. How shameful that the iron fist can be seen clenching already.

    Sad day for Belize

    This is unacceptable. It is irresponsible governance.

  26. Elgin Martinez says:

    Someone can unlock any GSM Phone and transfer their sim card to it.So how will you all track that?

  27. cayoman says:

    its like the tint law how many crimes has that stopped!
    it’s to know who speaks out about all the nonsense this gov is doing. so they can hunt you down.

  28. belizeanpride says:

    the next pm. or better say the PUP will abolish the GSU, removal of tint in private cars, will abolish this crap of simcard registration and more stupidthings that this UDP fools are doing. this is idiotic idea that has no intention of curbing the crime, we want election very quck ain’t tired of these fool doing stupidity making us Belizeans looking more than a third world country with some PM that has no brains in his baldhead.

  29. Jimmy Criminal says:

    There are many ways of skinning a cat and the stupid government is too ignorant to figure it out.
    Need to send a text after the law goes through. Just contact me and have some cash ready. What happens with me stays with me. Lets hope Barrow and cronies register and lists their number in the phone book like the rest of Belize.
    Oh by the way I just saw Deputy PM Vega and he still has very dark tint on his rear and back windows of his very expensive Lexus.

  30. The Viper says:

    Unbelievable! Our rights are being violated yet again. I smell a rat somewhere… with all due respect! I mean every one knows that this won’t work. We know it and they know it. But, is there is a hidden agenda in it, somewhere? Hmmm! I wonder. I am totally against this law.

  31. Joe McGuire says:

    All this will do is allow ….. Mr Clean to be able to tap people’s phone easier, feel sorry for Johnny, Florencio, Espat and the other criminals they wont even be able to talk naughty with them sweet hearts pan phone again!

  32. sweet 69 says:

    Son una bola de babosos porque en vez de mejorar el servicio de telefonos se van a poner a leer mis !@#$% TEX ya no voy a poder desir ni MADRES de malas palabras porque van a saber que malcreada soy. Y si mi marido quiere saber con quien me hago tex les va a pagar a los muertos de ambre de BTL para que les den mi record de Tex cada vez vamos peor ni privacidad voy a poder tener. Son capaces que si me agacho me van a querer ver el color de mi TANGA

  33. sweet 69 says:

    The Government and Police Department knows exactly what to do. they do not have to go way down into people private they comment they will use pay phones n still find other ways of continuing these killings. crime will slow down when they start dealing with them the correct way, thanks and please think before you all make a foolish move.

  34. Angry says:

    this is crap the government is finding all kind of ridiculous ways to “SAY” they “TRYING” to fight crime instead of diagnosing the problem n finding a solution they running around in circles like chicken heads. This is a violation of our privacy and freedom of speech!!!! This is certainly one of the most outrageous laws they putting across. This is so !***%** unbelievable im pissed at hell!!!

  35. Aron says:

    den thats jus stupid…… the !@#$ you will give prisoners a cell phone in the first place… see how belize corrupted already…….

  36. Aron says:

    telemedia didnt give free phones…..why shud we register our phone….

  37. Aron says:

    well…if dats the case …..the goverment and the police shud have their sim and PHONE!!! registerd too……..jus like the TINT law….if the TINT law applys to everyone , those people are not special…..what if those people doing things too…..if police are doing somthing to us and they are using their phone….we want to know who is doing bad to us……

  38. Aron says:

    well……dem cant da personal letter….HAHAHA./…TAP DAT …..after read BURN……

  39. Belizean says:

    you all got it right, this will be another way to victimize and get more power. Are people really gonna vote back for UDP with all this nonesense, when u got people like high profile ministers north contrabanding and raping our natural resources, and those taking advantage at the BTB. Common then when you speak against them through text and talk they will have you on record. If it is to stop criminal elements at the prison then change the rules. If it is that the PM was threatened through text about the 8th Amendment, and he wants to know who did it or will do it in the future, I’m disappointed, cuase he is violating our rights to privacy. CG go check at BTL and Smart how easy it is to get a transcript of text and call details. Then tell me if you trust those people who have access to it. From now on, they will have a name tagged to it.

  40. StewPoke says:

    I say do whatever needs to be done to cut down on crimes. I hope too that one day all unsolved muders cases will be enventually solved. Lots of murders, rapist, & child molesters polluting the damn place.

  41. Simcard says:

    You all should know better that this sounds like something only a whiteman would think of to gain control of t he world….Our GOB abviously got advise from the devil himself lurking in the darkness…New world order is now at our doorsteps…We’ve borrowed tons of money from these demons abroad so now we are in debt and by the looks of it…they can tell us what to do

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