The property cell of city crime branch has arrested two persons allegedly involved in changing IMEI numbers of mobile phones. The police have seized six IMEI number changing machines and 137 mobile phones from them.
The police are now probing the possibility of a larger racket involving mobile phone thieves.
The arrested duo has been identified as Mohsin Moinuddin Shaikh (30) and Mehmood Hamidullah Shafi (22).
According to the crime branch sources, on receipt of specific information that IMEI numbers of mobile phones are being changed in a mobile phone repair shop at Nirmal Nagar in Bandra (E), a raid was conducted on Wednesday and Shaikh and Shafi were picked up.
“Shaikh and Shafi were changing IMEI numbers of mobile phones with the use of some software and hardware. They were also into selling stolen mobile phones. We have seized 37 mobile phones, a laptop, six IMEI number changing machines and other equipment. They are worth Rs13.50 lakh,” said a crime branch officer.
The officer added that the police suspect that the duo was in touch with mobile phone thieves and used to receive a commission for changing IMEI numbers so that the stolen mobile phones can be re-sold without any problems.
In another case, the Cyber Crime Police of Bandra-Kurla Complex on September 27 arrested one Mahipal Singh Rathod for a similar offence. “On receipt of specific information that a mobile phone repair shop at Kalina is involved in changing of IMEI numbers of mobile phones, we raided the shop and arrested Rathod. We had seized 32 mobiles worth Rs80,000 from Rathod. IMEI numbers of those phones were tampered with,” said a police officer.