Extortion from prisons: using illegal antennas they evade signal blockers | INPE | Mobile phones | crime | Castro Castro Prison | PNP | Ancon 1 | gear

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About two weeks ago, the San Juan de Luregancho prison center was searched by National Institute of Prisons (INPE) and the National Police Seized 14 smartphones, 6 hand-made routers, USB and laptops with victims’ information. According to Colonel Johnny Huaman, Head of the Kidnapping and Extortion Division of the Philippine National Police, the procedures for geolocation of antennas in that area of ​​the province made them conclude that the phone calls were coming from that area. penal.

But it was not an isolated case. A week ago, on May 24, another search on Penal Ancon 1 He confiscated 49 cell phones and more agendas containing information on victims. In March, he found the interference of 21 cell phones in Criminal tumbis. Without taking into account the complaints from all over the country about the constant extortions that come from prison, in these three cases, one with a cell phone blocking system and activating Wi-Fi signals.

basic problem

The blocking of signals began in 2014 with a contract between the Ministry of Justice (Minjusdh) and Prisontec SAC to block calls and internet networks in 33 prisons in the country in exchange for exclusive public telephone service for trainees. . The implementation of the project started in 2017 and to date it has been implemented on 29 Penalties12 of them are still in the preoperative stage. In the remaining four, the company indicates that it is not yet involved due to pending business by INPE.

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So why do prisoners still use cell phones? According to César Vite, Director of Security at INPEOn the day of the quest in Castro, calls will be made in the “soft” areas where there is a signal for certain hours. El Comercio has requested information from INPE, but they note that a signal-ban spokesperson only corresponds with Minjus. This newspaper insisted on an interview with spokesmen for this ministry, but they did not respond.

Using illegal antennas, they dodge the signal blockers at Castro Prison.  (Infographic: Antonio Tarazona)
Using illegal antennas, they dodge the signal blockers at Castro Prison. (Infographic: Antonio Tarazona)

Diego Velasco, Director of Technology at Prisontec, acknowledges that not all blockers are 100% working (at 17 Penalties higher than 95% and 98%), but attribute this to the non-compliance of the intangible area with sanctions by the authorities. “By law, around prisons, within 200 meters of the wall, there should be no inhabitants, but there are human settlements in each. Next to Lurigancho or Castro Castro there are hundreds of thousands of people. There we cannot put the maximum strength of the fenders because we We have a problem with society,” he told this newspaper. Indeed, during the pandemic, they had to make adjustments with phone operators so that the blockade would not affect schoolchildren who received virtual lessons. “There are holes in these places where guests can approach a cell phone and get a signal.“, Add.

However, the problem of calls from Penalties even deeper. Although Velasco emphasizes that the level of siege Castro Castro Illegal antennas are installed inside and outside the prison 99% of the time to send and receive a Wi-Fi signal. In addition, an inspection conducted by Prisontec Radiofrequency on January 26 and 27, 2022 revealed 22 telephone and Wi-Fi signals inside the prison.

A letter dated March 8 sent by the company to Minjus He warns that they need state intervention to stop the illegal installation of antennas on rooftops that send signals directly into penal. They also discovered “wooden boxes attached to the roofs of prisons (more than 10 meters from ground level) and which like poles hung antennas directed towards the antennas of the houses located around these areas. prisonThe letter indicates that Prime Minister Anibal Torres was informed of this at a meeting last October.

Presontec deplores inmates placing antennas on wooden poles inside Castro Prison.  The photo was taken in 2021.
Presontec deplores inmates placing antennas on wooden poles inside Castro Prison. The photo was taken in 2021.

‘Illegal communication acts within penal It is a giant run by corruption. Neighbors rented their homes to put up Wi-Fi antennas and in Castro himself there were some antennas for all to see. Who allows cell phones in?Velasco Questions.

Last Tuesday, the company met with representatives of Minjus and INPE They requested a work schedule to resolve this situation. While this is being defined, businessmen and merchants from all over the country continue to denounce quota-collecting and the assault on their property that was born in penal.

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