Beware, Your own Cellphone might send you to JAIL!
Never ever allow anybody, especially strangers to use your mobile phones, it may put you at risk, read on:
OFW Landed in Jail after Lending Own Cellphone!
An overseas Filipino worker who lent his cellphone to a friend was sent to jail for one month and was fined Qatar Riyal (QR) 3,000 for a crime he did not commit
Overseas Filipino worker Roy Palaoag did not realize his cellphone could send him to jail.
On April 25, Palaoag was excited to go home for a vacation. He went to the Doha airport for his flight bound to Manila. He was surprised when he was held by Airport Immigration Police. The police said that the computerized data system showed that he has a pending case.
According to Palaoag’s wife Florence, sometime in October 2006, an Indian national friend borrowed her husband’s cellphone. Unknown to Palaoag, his friend called a woman and uttered words that were seriously hurtful and threatening to the woman. Feeling humiliated and threatened by the Indian national, the woman reported and lodged a complaint to the local police.
Upon investigation by the Qatar Police, the cellphone number was traced to Palaoag.
On May 20, 2008, the Qatari Court ruled and sentenced OFW Roy Palaoag to one month imprisonment and imposed a fine of QR3,000.
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle East (ME) regional coordinator, said that SIM cards are regulated by the government of Qatar. The Qatar government requires those who ask for permission to buy a SIM card to fill out a form and to submit a copy of his/her Iqama (residence permit). Then, the Qtel, Qatar’s national telephone company, enters the user’s personal information to the government’s centralized information or data system.
Monterona said Palaoag has already served a month of imprisonment but he needed to pay the QR3,000 for his release. Migrante, along with other OFW organizations in Qatar, would spearhead a contribution drive to raise the amount.
He advised other OFWs, “Never allow anybody to use your personal mobile phone, it may put you at risk. If it was lost or stolen, report it immediately to the host government’s national telephone company or to the local police.”
Vol. VIII, No. 20, June 22-28, 2008