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Recovered 310 smartphones from Delhi with destination Nepal

The police will upload the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of the phones on their website for their owners to claim ownership.

delhi Updated: Jun 03, 2019 07:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nepal,Delhi,Smartphone
Police said the seven men, aged between 23 and 58, were part of an elaborate arrangement to the sell phones in Nepal.(HT Photo)

Mobiles phones stolen from Delhi are being sold in Nepal to avoid detection, police said Sunday after recovering 310 mobile phones worth ₹60 lakh.

These high-end mobile phones, which included 90 iPhones, were recovered after the arrest of seven persons, most of who earlier earned their living by repairing mobile phones in central Delhi’s Gaffar Market, said Rajesh Deo, deputy commissioner of police (crime branch).

The police will upload the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of the phones on their website for their owners to claim ownership.

“We will have the details up on our website in a couple of days,” said the DCP, adding that it would be a first by the city police.

Police said the seven men, aged between 23 and 58, were part of an elaborate arrangement to the sell phones in Nepal.

“Of the arrested was a 58-year-old man from Nepal named Ram Singh who was paid ₹20,000 every month and his job was to coordinate the movement of mobile phones to Nepal,” said the officer.

The DCP said that the gang began their operations early last year after some of them working in Delhi’s popular mobile phone market, Gaffar Market, lost work.

“The police had been conducting regular raids because of which they weren’t getting enough phones for resale. Since the prices of phones have also been dipping, they wouldn’t get enough business in repairing mobile phones,” said the officer.

“Over the past few years, the demand of used high end phones has been rising in Nepal. The gang also realised that the regular bus services between Delhi and Nepal provided easy and uninterrupted transportation of the stolen mobile phones in the neighbouring country,” said the DCP.

But the main reason why Nepal was preferred was that the thieves and snatchers did not have to worry about having the stolen phones recovered through their IMEI numbers.

“The search of a mobile phone through their IMEI numbers is restricted to India. So, phones stolen in India and sold in Nepal would never be traced by the Indian agencies. It totally negated the risk of the thieves getting traced through the IMEI number of mobile phones,” said the officer.

Mobile phone snatchers have been known to change the IMEI numbers of stolen phones before selling them, but the officer said that the gang found Nepal to be a lucrative avenue in every way. “Buyers of used phones in Nepal also paid a higher price compared to their counterparts in Delhi,” said the officer.

Police said that the arrested men included Naresh Kumar, the 30-year-old alleged mastermind, who worked for a finance firm before taking to this crime. “From Kumar alone, we recovered 211 mobile phones. From his associates, we recovered the other 100. The total worth of these phones is above R 60 lakh,” said DCP Deo.

First Published: Jun 03, 2019 05:16 IST

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