New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) A racket where four people exploited Apple’s replacement policy with the help of its service centre staff has been busted with their arrest and 500 phones recovered, police said on Friday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhisham Singh said the racketeers – Muneer Khan, Anash Khan, Hamza Khan, Ibrahim, all residents of Delhi, were arrested the accused from Filmistan and Karol Bagh area on Thursday on a tip-off.
Explaining their modus operandi, Singh told IANS that they took advantage of Apple’s policy they would replace a phone if particular parts are damaged, and had four ways in which they cheated Apple, all with the inside help from Apple service centre staff.
In the first method, they would buy stolen iPhones, which are still in their warranty period. Later, with the help of service centre staff, they creates a ‘particular defect’ and get it replaced by a new phone.
In another method, they got hold of old iPhones from China, which are still under the warranty period and with the help of service centre staff, create the defect to get it replaced by a new phone.
Under the third method, they sent phones to China to get the IMEI number destroyed, and once these phones came back to India, engraved new IMEI number on the motherboard and SIM tray with a laser machine.
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique number given to all mobile phones for identification.
In all three cases, the accused packed the new phones in fake boxes with accessories, printed an IMEI sticker on the box and sold the phones over ebay or at a shop in Gaffar Market of Karol Bagh without a bill.
In the last method, if someone came to get an iPhone’s broken screen repaired, the accused would create the ‘defect’, get it replaced by a new one and would charge around Rs 20,000 from the customer.
“This violates Intellectual Property Rights and also amounts to forgery,” Singh said. He added that they are investigating further and are hoping to soon arrest Apple service centre staff who helped the accused.