CHENNAI: “Give me just two days time, I can give you iPhone 6+ original display,” assures a vendor who has displayed around 10 high-end mobiles for sale on the streets of Moore Market Complex at Park Town.
There are chances it may be original as the vendor claims since investigations by the Chennai police have found that the trend of dismantling and selling stolen cellphones is rising, of late.
A police source from the Central Crime Bureau said that like cars and bike spare parts being sold in the market, spares of mobiles are also easily available these days. “Many cellphone users believe that the 15-digit IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) number, will help them trace their lost phone, but very recently we learnt that miscreants have started following this new trick making it difficult for the service provider to trace the mobile,” added the source.
Official statistics show that there has been an increase in mobile missing cases by 39 per cent, compared to last year. However, tracing them still remains a task for the Central Crime Bureau due to various factors including non-cooperation from service providers, flashing of IMEI numbers (a technique of changing the number) and selling the phones to other states and countries.
Citing a case, the source said, a complaint had been lodged about a missing Iphone 6+. “For three months, we tried to trace but failed. Later, a six-member gang was taken for inquiry, which revealed that the phone was dismantled and sold.”
Giving out more details, the officer said that it’s a big network. The shop-keepers know better if a phone is a stolen one or an original second-hand item. “To our surprise during raids, we found that there are even specific shops in the local markets of Burma Bazaar and Richie Street where spare parts of stolen phones are available. Some shops operate exclusively to sell iPhone products. The most surprising part is these shops sell the product with receipts,” the officer adds.
Citing an example, the source said, “An iPhone 6+ display, whose original price is Rs 8,500 is available for Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,000. Samsung Note3 whose original item costs Rs 8,500 is available at Rs 8,000.”