Crackdown on sale of illegal mobile phone sets, 23 held

Sleuths of Delhi Police's Crime Branch conducted a series of raids in Karol Bagh's electronics market on shops selling mobile handsets which do not have valid IMEI numbers.

"We arrested 23 people for selling substandard mobile phones without IMEI numbers and seized 3,502 mobile phones along with one "Spiderman Software Box" which was being used for loading fake IMEI numbers on these mobile instruments," said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Neeraj Thakur.

"These handsets are being imported largely from China and their import and use has been declared illegal by the government," he added. Police had registered a case Dec 3 on the complaint of Indian Cellular Association about some people undertaking the illegal activity of supplying counterfeit and substandard mobile phone handsets without IMEI number.
Every GSM mobile phone instrument is required to carry a unique 15 digit IMEI number, allotted by the International GSM Association. This number is printed inside the battery compartment of the instrument, and can also be displayed on the phone's screen by entering and dialling *#06#.

The genuineness of the IMEI number can be easily ascertained from the website and also by sending the number to 53232 and 57662.
The police said one of the important benefits of the IMEI number is the possibility of tracing the mobile phone instrument on the telecommunication network.  "The IMEI number always plays an important role in matters relating to law enforcement as well as national security," Thakur said.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) last month had directed all the mobile service providers to disconnect such handsets which do not have a valid IMEI number from their networks by Nov 30.   

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