Buyers of SIM cards in Deep South will have their fingerprints stamped

As part of security step-up in the restive Deep South, people in the three southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla will be required to stamp their fingerprints when buying SIM cards for their mobile phones.

National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) secretary-general Takorn Tanthasit said Wednesday that the new security measure which was endorsed by security agencies in the Deep South would be introduced at the end of this month.

He said that the measure would also be applied to current mobile phone users – meaning that they would be required to re-register their phones and have their fingerprints stamped.

Visitors of tourists visiting the restive region will have to notify the NBTC or mobile phone operators in advance if they want to use their mobile phones there otherwise their phones will not work.

Takorn said that if the measure is proven to be successful in enhancing security after one year, it may be applied throughout the country.

Southern militants have resorted to mobile phones using unregistered SIM cards in detonating bombs in attacking marked targets.