Government finds about 18,000 mobile phones with fake identity numbers

Government finds about 18,000 mobile phones with fake identity numbers

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It has been found by the government that about 18,000 mobile phones are having fake identity numbers. Every handset has a fifteen digit number known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is supposed to be unique for each.

This helps the security and law enforcement agencies to pinpoint the actual user. But the handsets which are sold in the grey market do not have this identity number which became a matter of concern for the security agencies. The concerns increased as most of the handsets brought in to the country are from China or Taiwan.

Kapil Sibal, the Communications and Telecom minister said in Rajya Sabha, “At present, it is difficult to differentiate between the original handset and the duplicated one with same IMEI. But the Department of Telecom is examining the issue”. On April 29, 2009, the DoT had ordered that all the calls from mobile handsets with fake identity numbers should not be processed.

Even the ministry of commerce has already banned the import of mobile handsets without IMEI numbers. The Indian Cellular Association has said that despite the measures the import of unbranded Chinese handsets has grown four fold from 5.5 million in 2007-09. The g0vernment has been asked by the industry body to take stricter actions against the fake phones.