Mozambique -Fake iPhone factory busted in Maputo

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Maputo (AIM-New Ziana) –A multi-sectoral team on Friday busted a factory which was assembling fake iPhones in the Mozambican capital Maputo and seized 1 165 counterfeit handsets.

The factory was able to perform complex technical procedures, such as assembly, assignment of IMEI numbers, which facilitates device validity identification.

The IMEI number is an individual number assigned to each and every phone all over the world. One should also use the IMEI number when reporting a stolen or a lost phone at the police or network operator. After that, one can block their phone and it will become unusable, regardless of whether the SIM card is changed or removed.

Authorities also seized various materials used by the suspects, two Chinese nationals, to carry out their activities.

According to the independent daily online “O Pais”, the director of Customs Operations, Gino Jone, said the operation to bust the factory was the result of a tip-off.

“We received a complaint that raised our suspicions, so we activated our operational lines to find out the truth and after three weeks of investigation we discovered this factory, where we seized 1,165 boxes of iPhone mobile phones”, he said.

Jone said there were also suspicions that some mobile phones might have been stolen.

“These mobile phones were imported without a license from the National Institute of Communications of Mozambique and much less customs declaration. Therefore, we are also dealing with smuggling, because there is no document that justifies the importation and sale of these mobile phones on the market,” he said.

He added that the telecommunications regulatory authority, the Mozambican National Communications Institute (INCM), tried to trace the devices, but without success.

“The colleagues from INCM did some tests on the devices to detect the frequency of these mobile phones, but failed,” he said.

The owners of the illegal factory, two Chinese nationals, denied the accusations of any illegal activity, claiming they were running a legal operation.

“We have everything, and we have proved it. So, what they are doing is not normal,” said one of the owners.

Asked about the documents for their operations, he said “they took all the documents with them. I’m not going to say anything more.”

According to Mozambican Customs, the illegal goods will be handed over to the Attorney General’s Office for subsequent steps, while the two suspects will face the Mozambican justice.

The multi-sectoral team that busted the factory included members of the Mozambican Police, National Criminal Investigation Service, National Institute of Communications of Mozambique, National Inspection of Economic Activities and Customs

AIM-New Ziana

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