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India Bans Fake, Cheap Mobile Phones with duplicate IMEI

The Indian Government has banned imports of any mobilephone that is fake and uses duplicate unique identity number that helps police to track any mobile device.

“GSM mobile handsets with duplicate IMEI or fake IMEI & ‘CDMA mobile handsets’ with duplicate ESN (Electronic Serial Number)/MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier) or fake ESN/MEID are added to the list of ‘Prohibited’ items for import,” the office of the Director General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.

An IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity number is a 15 to 17 digit number unique to every mobile phone that is using the global system for mobile communications (GSM) technology.

The only way government or the police can track a phone is by its unique number and duplicate or fake mobile devices, most of them imported from China or other Asian destinations fail to get tracked by the suthorities.

Any mobile device beginning or ending with 00…00 IMEI number is fake and such handsets are banned in India. Some mobile phones are making their way into the grey market with or without IMEI number or faking an existing genuine phone identity number.

Reacting to the government notification, Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo said, “We welcome any crackdown in fake IMEI or grey market. The implementation of this notification on gorund will have to be handled with great care so that ease of business is not hampered while curbing grey market.”

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