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13,000 handsets found to have same IMEI number

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Police in Uttar Pradesh have found out that more than 13,000 handsets in India have the same unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. A case has been registered against the mobile phone manufacturing company and its service centre. It should be noted that IMEI numbers are usually unique to a single cell phone but when multiple cell phones have the same number it makes it difficult for cops to track the phone.

The matter came to light after a police personnel gave his mobile phone to the staff at the cyber crime cell for examination as it had stopped working. Media reports quoted Meerut SP (city) Akhilesh N Singh as saying that the cop had recently repaired the phone but it was still not working. He said that the cyber cell found that around 13,500 other mobile phones had a similar IMEI number. Calling it a serious security issue, Singh said it appeared to be negligence on part of the mobile phone company and could be misused by criminals.