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iPhone gang busted in Delhi, 500 phones recovered

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New Delhi, June 17:  Nearly 500 phones were recovered after a gang of four men was busted who used to exploit Apple’s replacement policy with the help of its service centre staff, police said on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhisham Singh said the members of the gang – Muneer Khan, Anash Khan, Hamza Khan, Ibrahim, all residents of Delhi, were arrested from Filmistan and Karol Bagh area on Thursday on a tip-off.

The gang used to take advantage of Apple’s policy they would replace a phone if any parts are damaged, and had four methods to cheat, all with the inside help from Apple service centre staff.

In the first method, they would buy stolen iPhones, which are still in their warranty period. Later, they took help from service centre staff and create a ‘particular defect’ and get it replaced by a new phone.

In another method, they got hold of old iPhones from China, which are still under the warranty period and with the help of service centre staff, create the defect to get it replaced by a new phone.

Under the third method, they sent phones to China to get the IMEI number destroyed, and once these phones came back to India, engraved new IMEI number on the motherboard and SIM tray with a laser machine.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique number given to all mobile phones for identification.

In all three cases, the accused packed the new phones in fake boxes with accessories printed an IMEI sticker on the box and sold the phones on ebay or at a shop in Gaffar Market of Karol Bagh without a bill.

In the last method, if someone came to get an iPhone’s broken screen repaired, the accused would create the ‘defect’, get it replaced by a new one and would charge around Rs 20,000 from the customer.

“This violates Intellectual Property Rights and also amounts to forgery,” Singh said. He added that they are investigating further and are hoping to soon arrest Apple service centre staff who helped the accused.

Wefornews Bureau

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