*** ----> Bahraini lawmakers to crack down on mobile theft with stringent penalties | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahraini lawmakers to crack down on mobile theft with stringent penalties

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Losing a mobile phone, now a days, is akin to losing a lifeline to the world. From the panic of realising it’s missing to the anxiety over potential data breaches and identity theft, the experience can be deeply traumatic. But don’t worry.

Lawmakers here are on it and are working to roll out strong deterrent measures.

They say saying stealing mobile phones, once considered a petty crime, has taken on a new gravity in their eyes.

For them, the time has come up for toughening stance on mobile theft, for the society has become increasingly reliant on these handheld devices for communication, work, and entertainment.

To safeguard citizens’ digital lives, legislators are rolling out stringent measures, sending a clear warning to would-be thieves.

It is worth noting that the legislation has been discussed by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and National Security, which has recommended its approval.

This Tuesday, the parliament is set to vote on a new amendment to certain provision of the Penal Code issued by Decree-Law No. 15 of 1976, accompanying Decree-Law No. 7 of 2024. 

The proposed penalties target theft of devices capable of receiving, transmitting, processing, storing, and retrieving data quickly.

This encompasses mobile phones, laptops, tablets, as well as electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical devices, or any other electronic tool or device.

This means that individuals found guilty of stealing such devices will be subject to a minimum prison sentence of three months.

But, that’s not the end of it. If the theft is committed to obtain information, data, or images within these devices, the minimum prison term will be no less than one year.

Furthermore, the legislation specifies that theft involving mobile phones, laptops, tablets, or other contemporary technological devices with the intention of accessing information, data, or images will result in a maximum imprisonment term of two years or a fine not surpassing 500 dinars.

The core principles of the law emphasise safeguarding modern communication devices such as phones and laptops, recognising the personal and financial information they contain, which are crucial to people’s lives and finances.

Members of the parliamentary committees say the sensitive nature of the personal information and financial data they contain, highlighting the need to deter and penalise the misuse of such information. If passed, this amendment will be sent to the Shura Council.