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735 stolen mobile phones worth Rs 1.3 crore recovered in Delhi, eight arrested

The arrested men include thieves, mobile phone shop owners and engineers at Gaffar Market who used to change the IMEI number of the phones. The gang targeted people carrying high-end smart phones.

delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2017 11:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Smart phone,Mobile phone,Gaffar market
Delhi police show the 705 smart phones after arresting a gang of phone thieves. Eight, including pickpockets, receivers and engineers who used to change IMEI number, have been arrested. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Cracking down on an organised gang of mobile thieves operating in the city, police arrested eight men and recovered 735 stolen mobile phones worth Rs 1.3 crore from them.

The gang sought the help of an engineer in Delhi’s Gaffar Market for changing the IMEI number of the stolen phones before selling them at low prices.

The arrested men include thieves, mobile phone shop owners, who would buy from the thieves and the engineer.

Police said the gang particularly targeted high-end mobile phones as they brought greater profit with little investment on giving them a new and undetectable look.

Read: Mobile identity theft: Why Delhi Police can’t find your stolen phone

Initial arrests in the case were made on February 21 when the South-East Delhi district police were tipped off about three men arriving in Delhi to receive stolen phones, said Romil Baaniya, DCP (South-East).

The trio was arrested and a search of their car led to the recovery of 18 phones. They allegedly revealed the identity of the people from whom they bought the phones.

Investigation yielded 717 mobile phones and resulted in the arrest of another five members of the racket. Police pegged the actual cost of the phones at around Rs 1.3 crore.

The Gaffar Market engineer who used to allegedly change the IMEI number of the phones has been identified as Gaurav Kumar. He would charge Rs 200-300 for IMEI change of each phone. For unlocking these phones, he would charge an additional Rs 50.

A search of his shop in Gaffar Market led police to the software and accessories he used to make the change and give the phones a new look. The items have been seized.

First Published: Feb 27, 2017 21:06 IST