IMEI database to stop fake cellphone handset import

IMEI database to stop fake cellphone handset import

Tarana+Halim - File photo

Tarana+Halim – File photo

Dhaka – The government is going to create a database with international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers to stop the illegal imports of fake cellphone handsets which have flooded the country’s markets, UNB news agency reported.
A process is underway for the IMEI database to stop the illegal import of cellphone handsets, State Minister for Posts and Communications Tarana Halim said.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will preserve the data containing the IMEIs of all legally-imported sets using software, she said.With the help of the database, Tarana said, the clients will be able to verify the handsets through IMEI numbers.
Contacted, BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said, “The clients can verify the original and fake mobile sets through the IMEI numbers on the BTRC website.”
The software works on the IMEI database will be completed within two-three months, he added.
The BTRC chairman noted that the drive by mobile courts to prevent illegal and fake handsets will continue.
The BTRC has already seized a huge number of fake and illegal cellphone handsets from the market, he said adding that the market of the illegal and fake mobile handsets would be diminished fully after the IMEI database work is completed.
The chairman urged the customers to buy any cellphone handset after scrutinising it and inform the BTRC if they have doubt about any set.
Dr Shahjahan Mahmood also warned that the BTRC will take stern legal actions against the dishonest importers.
According to the BTRC, some dishonest traders take permission from the government for importing handsets of any foreign company, but they ultimately import substandard handsets from China and other countries with fake brand names.
They also import stickers and logos of expensive mobile brands from abroad and attach those with the law standard handsets. The fake sets cannot be verified with the naked eye.
The sources also said the unscrupulous traders buy fake sets within the cost range of Tk 800-2,000 per piece from abroad and sell it at Tk 7,000-Tk 20,000.
Talking to UNB, general secretary of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (BMPIA) Rezwanul Haque said the traders pay the government nearly 21 percent tax along with VAT and duty for importing handsets.
He said the number of fake and illegal handsets may increase in the country’s markets due to the tax rise as some dishonest traders do this to make excessive profits. “It’s not only the actual traders, but also the customers are suffering for this illegal business. The government is also being deprived of huge revenue every year due to the illicit trading,“ Rezwan added.
The BMPIA leader said the government should take stern action to prevent the illegal business and enforce the monitoring, mobile court drives and at every entry point.
Every valid mobile phone has a unique 15 digit IMEI number based on which anyone can check the information about the mobile.


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