Indian govt bans mobile handsets with duplicate or fake IMEI numbers

The Indian government has renewed its efforts to come down on phones with fake, cloned or duplicate IMEI numbers and has issued a ban against such imports. An International Mobile Equipment Identity number functions as the concerned handset’s unique ID, just like your fingerprint. Dealers have managed to find a loophole in a law that already exists prohibiting the aforementioned sort of devices from being sold in the country.

An order against importing phones with ’00..00′ IMEI numbers, without any such identification or with fake IDs, was passed previously. This meant that handsets with duplicate or cloned IMEI numbers were technically not part of the ban. The new prohibition curbs even such devices from being offered in the market. The Indian Cellular Association’s Pankaj Mohindroo talked about any type of crackdown in fake IMEI or grey market being welcome, according to TOI who dug up this story through PTI.

Man Holding Phone

As it’s so aptly called, the grey market allows for trading of goods through legal, but unofficial or unauthorized channels. It’s probably the only thing that scares Samsung into releasing it’s smartphones in India as soon as they’re launched abroad. The same goes for several other big companies except Apple, of course. But we’re not talking about the pros and cons of having a parallel market here. Handsets with duplicate or fake IMEI numbers pose a threat to national security since they can’t be tracked.

Also see: IAF says its Xiaomi advisory was an internal memo, no ban on Chinese company

So the Indian government has now included GSM mobiles with cloned or fake IMEI and CDMA phones with duplicate or false ESN (Electronic Serial Number)/MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier) in the list of items which are banned from being imported into the nation.