An arrested Indian gang member allegedly auctioned off stolen mobile phones to dealers in Bangladesh and Nepal. after changing their IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers.
An investigation revealed that the accused, Ashfaq Ahmed Abdul Ajij Shaikh, 32, is one of seven gang members arrested by police, the Hindustan Times reported.
He has a bank account in Nepal and Bangladesh where Mankhurd police officers found over Tk 900,000 (₹8) and over Tk 700,000 (₹6) respectively.
Shaikh used to buy stolen mobile phones from thieves in the Shivaji Nagar area, Krishnakant Upadhyay, deputy police commissioner, said.
He used to send cell phone models, and photos in WhatsApp groups and agents from Bangladesh and Nepal collected them every 15 days. Later, they sold the mobiles across borders.
Shaikh, also an Urdu teacher at a local madrasa, has sold around 10,000 stolen mobile phones to neighboring countries in the past 18 months, the Hindustan Times reports.
The gang was busted after police inspector Raju Surve and his team launched a manhunt for a biker and his associate, who had stolen a mobile phone outside Mankhurd station on July 11 .
Police eventually identified the thief, Javed Shaikh, and apprehended him on July 21.
His arrest led to the arrest of Ashfaq Ahmed Abdul Ajij Shaikh, the biggest recipient of stolen phones in the city, police inspector Raju Surve said.