Police have arrested eight persons who are suspected to be members of an interstate gang involved in reselling stolen mobile phones after erasing IMEI numbers.
Police have recovered 735 mobile phones worth Rs 1.30 crore from them, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Romil Baaniya said.
Three stolen cars and equipment and accessories used in erasing of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of mobile phones has also been recovered from them.
One of the arrested is an engineer and has a shop in Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh. He allegedly used to change IMEI numbers of stolen mobile phones and bring the phone to factory settings using a Chinese software and other equipment, said the officer.
The gang worked at four levels—the first level comprises pickpockets and snatchers, second set is of receivers, the third level is of engineers and the fourth set is of receivers who sell the phones with the changed IMEI, said the officer.
Pickpockets and snatchers sell stolen phones to receivers anywhere between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000.
The receivers then contact the engineers who are equipped with software to change the IMEI numbers and then the phones are resold.
Following a tip-off, three persons, Shakil Ahmed alias Saeed, Aslam and Rinku, were arrested from Okhla Industrial area on February 21, the police officer said.
During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they used to take stolen mobile phones from one Qayyum who is a resident of Jurhera, Rajasthan and runs a mobile shop there, said the officer.
Qayyum used to take the stolen mobile phones from one Kallu and Gaurav Mittal who have mobile shops in Delhi.
Mittal was arrested from his shop at Sitaram Bazar in Old Delhi, along with his partner Rajendra Agrawal.
During interrogation, Mittal disclosed that he used to get the IMEI numbers of mobile phones changed from Gaffar Market, Karol Bagh with the help of one engineer Gaurav Kumar.
Mittal used to sell the “refreshed” mobile phones to various receivers and dealers in Mewat, Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, said the officer.
“One Khalid and Irfan who ran a shop at Nuh (Mewat), Haryana were arrested along with Gaurav from his shop where they had come for changing the IMEI of stolen phones,” Baaniya said.