THE LOST WORLD

My friend has a habit/ hobby of losing mobile phones.

International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique number associated with every GSM mobile phone (can be obtained by dialing *#06#). Already there exists a technology - if a GSM mobile phone is lost, the network provider can then put the IMEI number on a globally shared database - Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), which prevents the mobile from registering on any network and hence, become unusable.

In general, people are unaware about this and are blinking when they are asked for IMEI after a loss. Usually, the mobile on sale comes with the number but handful of them are smuggled or unbilled equipments [Unblocked 8GB Apple iPhone from US (399$) is available in almost all mobile retail shops of Chennai now for Rs.25000].

Also the people who are responsible to aid blocking (service provider, mobile manufacturer and police) are very lenient. You cannot file FIR for a mobile phone loss in an Indian police station without IMEI and bill. It is not practically possible to do a block for a common man in India now.

My friend don't have IMEI/ bill for few of his lost handsets. The damage toll crossed Rs.1 lakh, already and counting...

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