Now selling stolen or snatched mobile phones in the marketplace is a very hard thing as Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) in collaboration with Karachi Electronics Dealers Association has created a pro forma.
The idea behind this new strategy is pretty simple; any shopkeeper who will buy a used phone from the customer will have to fill the proforma issued by the CPLC. It will require the customer to share his name, father’s name, address, CNIC number and mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
Before the shopkeeper buys the used phone, he needs to verify its status, snatched, stolen or cleared, from the CPLC helpline 1102 or they can also call 35682222. It is also compulsory for all shopkeepers to obtain a photocopy of a CNIC before buying a used mobile phone from a customer.
The shopkeeper is also responsible if he fails to follow the standard operating procedure (SOPs). He will have to face Section 411 of the Pakistan Penal Code if the mobile phone he is supposed to be selling is the mobile phone is found to be stolen or snatched.
This decision comes as a result of increased mobile snatching and theft incidents. According to the CPLC, around 34,137 mobile phones were stolen or snatched in Karachi last year. Whereas in 2015, 21,198 mobile phones were snatched while 20,442 were stolen.
This strategy will likely decrease the chances of selling and buying the mobile phone that has been acquired through criminal means. Also, a buyer is also supposed to get the mobile phone number of the shopkeeper, who is selling him/her the used mobile phone.
The shopkeeper is also responsible for seizing any mobile phone and informing CPLC if the phone is found to have a criminal record in the CPLC database. He is also required to maintain the data of sale and purchase of used mobile phones.
The problem is not only limited to stolen mobile phones, counterfeit, and replicas of mobile phones are also available in the market, along with fake LCD & LED TVs. Even the sale of repainted used mobile phones to the unsuspecting customers is also a regular trend in mobile markets. In this situation, the authorities need to address the procedures of how mobile phones are sold and purchased in these market places.