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Brazil: Use of Cell Phones Prohibited Inside Banks in the State of Rio

(Apr. 8, 2011) In an effort to curb the crimes that occur when customers leave bank branches after withdrawing funds, on April 4, 2011, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil enacted Law No. 5,939 prohibiting the use of cell phones, radio transmitters, palmtops, and similar equipment inside bank branches in the state. The author of the bill, State Deputy Domingos Brazão, was quoted as saying that people may continue to enter the bank branches with their devices, but their use is prohibited inside, the idea being to avoid the exchange of information among criminals and avoid theft and robbery. A similar initiative in Argentina was able to reduce the incidence of this type of crime by 20%, said Brazão. (Lei Proíbe Uso de Celulares Dentro das Agências Bancárias do Estado do Rio, O GLOBO (Apr. 5, 2011).)