Gang selling duplicate iPhones busted, three held

Published on Dec 01, 2022 11:33 PM IST

Police said the suspects also used a mobile application to scan the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers (a 15-digit number unique to each mobile phone) from the boxes so that gullible buyers would assume that the IMEI numbers are original too

Three suspects have been arrested and around 60 duplicate iPhones were recovered from their possession.
Three suspects have been arrested and around 60 duplicate iPhones were recovered from their possession.

The Gautam Budh Nagar police on Thursday busted a gang that allegedly duped people by selling duplicate China-made Apple iPhones at low cost across the National Capital Region (NCR).

Three suspects have been arrested and around 60 duplicate iPhones were recovered from their possession, police said, adding that the gang members lured potential iPhone 13 buyers by offering them the premium phone for only 53,000, while its market value is close to a 66,000.

“The gang purchased duplicate phones from a market in Delhi for just 12,000 each. Then they would purchase genuine iPhone boxes costing 4,500 from the Chinese online shopping portal Alibaba, along with Apple stickers worth 1,000 each. Later, they sold the phones at a ‘discounted’ rate of 53,000”, said additional deputy commissioner of police (Central Noida), Saad Miyan Khan.

ADCP Khan added that the suspects also used a mobile application to scan the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers (a 15-digit number unique to each mobile phone) from the boxes so that gullible buyers would assume that the IMEI numbers are original too.

The suspects have been identified as Lalit Tyagi and Rajneesh Ranjan, who hail from Bihar and live in Noida, police said. The third suspect, Abhishek Kumar, is a native of Sonbhadra district and was currently living in Varanasi. They were held by personnel from the Sector 63 police station, where complaints were lodged.

“Sector 63 police station received two very similar cases. In both the cases, the complainants said that they received a genuine product when they bought the iPhones for the first time. Later, they struck a deal and placed bigger orders, but got fake iPhones,” ADCP Khan said.

A complaint was registered under Section 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly delivering property), 467 (forgery), 471 (fraudulently using genuine document), 34 (common intention), and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), police said.

ADCP Khan said the police have recovered 60 duplicate iPhones and 4.50 lakh cash from the gang’s possession and a Renault Duster car used by them has also been seized. The police team has also recovered some forged Aadhaar cards and other documents from the suspects, he added.

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