In bizarre turn of event, more than 13,000 mobile phones have been found running on the same IMEI number in India this week. As you might know,International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique 15-digit code given to each device and used for tracking purposes, especially when phone is lost or stolen. The fact that 13,000 phones were found running with the same number raises security issues for the country and its law enforcement forces.
The story becomes even more worrying because one of the phone was used by a police officer in Meerut area of Uttar Pradesh. According to PTI report, the issue came to light when the officer complained about having some issues with the phone and handed it over to the cyber crime authorities to get it repaired.That is when it was detected the IMEI number of the mobile phone used by the officer has been issued to around 13,500 devices till now.
It seems the problem is confined to one mobile manufacturer and its service centre, as the Meerut Police has filed FIR against the unknown company and says the case has been registered under the sections of law and team of experts will be looking into the matter. Since the term mobile phone has been used, it’s possible that most of these are feature phones, which are harder to track for enforcement agencies.
But the question is why would a company issue thousands of devices with the IMEI number unless its intentions are plotted against national security? Indian authorities have taken stringent measures to issue prepaid SIM to individuals without proper documentation. But if mobile numbers are so widely running with same IMEI number, it will be next to impossible for the police to catch hold of theperpetrators as they can easily dupe their device number, making it hard to track them down.