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2 arrested for changing stolen phone serial numbers

A police officer checks one of the phones found at the suspects premises. 

Police in Kampala on Monday arrested two men for allegedly changing the IMEI numbers of stolen mobile phones in the city.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique serial number alloted to every GSM mobile phone and is used by networks to identify valid phones and block stolen or blacklisted phones.

A search for reported stolen mobile phones through its IMEI number led police to the suspects identified as Meseal Nkuubi and Joseph Nsumba. The two S.6 dropouts have been involved in the business of changing the IMEI numbers of the stolen phones though an electronic machine.

The suspects said they bought the serial manipulating machines from Ebay online shop and downloaded tutorials of how to use the machines from YouTube .

According to police, the two suspects have been in contact with a mobile theft gang operating in Kampala and the surrounding suburbs.

The suspects confessed to have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the phone snatchers who give a 23% Commission upon manipulation of each phone serial number.

Following a tip-off from an undercover officer, CPS Kampala Police laid a trap and arrested them. They recovered several mobile phones and other gadgets from them.

The suspects told police that they have been involved in this illegal activity since the past six months.

They are currently detained at CPS Kampala vide GEF 086/2018 as investigations continue.

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