Illegal mobile phone re-sale network busted in Chennai – The Hindu

Chennai News

The police busted a criminal network which was dealing in stolen mobile phones at a subway near Beach railway station in the early hours of Thursday.

Nine suspects were nabbed by a special team led by Joint Commissioner of Police, North, V. Balakrishnan.

The special team began investigations following a tip-off on the registration number of a suspicious two-wheeler in Tondiarpet. The team shadowed the suspect and were led to a gang that gathered at the subway near Burma Bazaar.

A police officer said, “The criminals stole mobile phones from people who were walking during the night. Between 5 a.m.-7a.m., the illegal market was functioning. The brokers, who also assembled in the subway, bought handsets from the snatchers for prices ranging from ₹1,000 to ₹2,000 each. Later, they sold the hardware to shopkeepers in Burma Bazaar and other grey markets.”

IMEI number changed

“The sellers formatted the gadgets and put them in new packaging. The network then sent the packaged phones to other States, mostly Kerala and Bihar. They even changed the IMEI numbers using a software so that police would not be able to trace the gadgets,” said the officer.

The suspects have been identified as R. Marudhupandian, 49, of Tondiarpet; S. Chandru, 34, of Vyasarpadi; S. Pugazhendhi, 27, of Manali; S. Anthonysamy, 48, of Mannady; N. Balamurugan, 40, of M.K.B. Nagar; and four others.

Over 50 mobile phones worth ₹6 lakh were recovered from them. They were remanded in judicial custody.

The police also appealed to the public not to fall prey for cheaper mobile phones and advised them not to buy any hardware without receipts.