Delhi Police Monday sent a notice to Flipkart and asked them to join a probe into the sale of hundreds of mobile phones stolen by agents registered with the e-tailer. The notice, addressed to the CEO of Flipkart, came following the arrest of six persons and recovery of stolen high-end mobile phones worth around Rs 1 crore, said sources.
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The police recovered 209 of the 600 mobile phones stolen from a cargo hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport, the sources added.
The accused were identified as Raju Singh (31), Sunil Jain (40), Gaurav Mittal (44), Jitender Girotra (28), Harender Singh (42) and Ravi (26).
Police said they received a complaint from SVS Logistics company that 600 of their shipment of 1500 HTC mobile phones shipped from Hong Kong were stolen on July 11. The shipment was to be delivered to NPS Telecom Private Limited in Okhla. The theft is suspected to have occurred when an SVS Logistics agent was away trying to arrange a cargo vehicle to transport the consignment, said sources.
“Police began investigating the case after forming a team. We first analysed all CCTV camera footage overseeing the cargo hub, though we found nothing useful. Technical surveillance of all phones through their IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) number revealed they were in use in various places including Mysore, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh. We questioned the end-users and were told by all of them they had purchased the mobile phones from Flipkart. They also produced receipts of their purchases,” DCP (IGI Airport) Dinesh Kumar said.
Police on the basis of secret information arrested Raju Singh who was scouting for customers for the stolen phones. One stolen phone was recovered from him. His arrest led to leads on the other accused. He revealed that one Narender, the driver of a vehicle plying at the Cargo Terminal at IGI, was the mastermind. Despite several raids, police have not managed to find him.
“Narender stole the phones and supplied them to different dealers in Karol Bagh, Gaffar Market and Mahipalpur. We arrested one Harinder Singh who runs a mobile shop. Police recovered 128 phones from him. He was caught selling stolen phones supplied to him by Narender. The dealers in these markets supplied the phones to dealers in Bangalore and Rajasthan,” said Kumar. Along with Delhi, the trail also leads to Bhilwara in Rajasthan, sources said.
“We have served notices to Flipkart to obtain the requisite information because all the phones tracked so far seemed to be purchased by customers of Flipkart. We have not served notices on any other e-shopping site. We will also ask all Flipkart customers using the stolen phones to return them and the money will be likewise refunded by Flipkart,” Kumar said.
The PTI quoted a Flipkart spokesperson as saying, “Flipkart is a digital marketplace that helps sellers connect with customers across the country. Each and every one of our 40,000-plus sellers are mandated to adhere to stringent guidelines. Any exception to, or violation of this code of conduct is taken very seriously. We enforce a strict policy of zero tolerance against unscrupulous sellers who sell products that are fake, stolen, or in violation of any applicable law of the land.”