Over 20,000 lost/stolen mobile phones in T.N. blocked through Central portal, police on track of over 8,000

Cyber crime police officers in T.N. said the portal has made it easy for citizens to register the loss/theft of their devices; telecommunications companies then help the police with tracking the device

Updated - March 18, 2024 01:17 pm IST

Published - March 18, 2024 01:08 pm IST - CHENNAI

Photograph used for representational purposes only

Photograph used for representational purposes only | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As many as 1,580 lost or stolen mobile phones have been successfully recovered, bringing relief to their owners, thanks to the Central Equipment Identity Register System (CEIR) which was introduced last year.

The CEIR system is a citizen-friendly initiative that was launched by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications in May 2023 empowers individuals to safeguard their mobile devices and take swift action in case of theft or loss. The CEIR system can be accessed through the Sanchar Saathi portal (www.sancharsaathi.gov.in). It is integrated with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), ensuring efficient information sharing. It also facilitates reporting, blocking, unblocking, and tracing of IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers for lost or stolen mobile devices across the entire country.

Additional Director General of Police in T.N. Sanjay Kumar said both law enforcement agencies and the public can request the blocking of IMEI numbers associated with stolen or lost devices. Within 24 hours, the blocked IMEI becomes unusable, rendering the handset inaccessible to any other user. When any SIM card is inserted into a device with a blocked IMEI, the network provider receives an immediate notification. This information is then relayed to the police and the victim. Additionally, network providers share location details and mobile numbers with law enforcement officials, aiding in the recovery of lost or stolen mobiles, he said.

Once an IMEI number is blocked and traced, citizens receive periodical messages on their registered alternative mobile numbers. These notifications keep them informed about the status of their lost or stolen devices.

Upon receiving traceability information for a missing device, citizens can promptly approach their respective police stations for recovery. The CEIR system streamlines this process, ensuring that rightful owners regain possession of their mobile phones.

When a recovered mobile phone is in the hands of its rightful owner, they can request the unblocking of the IMEI number. This action, initiated through the CEIR portal, allows the handset to be used again without any restrictions.

Mr. Sanjay Kumar said, “Since its inception in May 2023, the CEIR system has achieved remarkable results. Across the state, 20,625 stolen mobiles have been rendered unusable through IMEI blocking. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has successfully obtained traceability reports for 8,873 mobile handsets, aiding law enforcement agencies in their efforts.”

Officers of the Cyber Crime Wing said blocking IMEI numbers not only ensures the rightful return of stolen devices but also plays a crucial role in preventing illegal activities.

Cyber Crime Wing officers said anyone whose mobile phone was lost or stolen could immediately register the loss at www.sancharsaathi.com on CEIR. Additionally, individuals can also visit a nearby police station as all police stations in the State offer this service.

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