Police arrest two for changing IMEI numbers of stolen phones

February 21, 2024 12:48 am | Updated 12:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

The police arrested the two and recovered a laptop from them, on which they found software that was used to change the IMEI numbers.

The police arrested the two and recovered a laptop from them, on which they found software that was used to change the IMEI numbers. | Photo Credit: File Photo

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Delhi Police arrested three men from west Delhi’s Hari Nagar for changing the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers — a unique identification number given to each mobile phone — of stolen, robbed, and snatched phones and selling them further. The changed IMEI number gives the phone a new virtual identity, which makes it impossible to detect, a senior officer said.

On February 17, a police team at Hari Nagar police post apprehended Narabjeet Singh, from whom a stolen mobile phone was recovered. Upon investigation, the police found that the recovered phone’s IMEI number had been changed.

During interrogation, Mr. Singh disclosed that he and his associate, Manish, who was subsequently arrested, used to change the IMEI numbers of phones for money. The police arrested the two and recovered a laptop from them, on which they found software that was used to change the IMEI numbers. The two accused also led the police to the whereabouts of their associate Gurmeet, who was also arrested. Further investigation is under way, the officer also said.

The officer added that in most phone theft cases, the police use the IMEI and SIM card numbers to track the stolen phones. However, thieves often change the IMEI code and remove the SIM card, making surveillance difficult.

Earlier in 2021, the Delhi police took to X to issue a warning to the public against buying unverified second-hand phones.

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