No fewer than 40 people have been arrested and handed over to the police for phone theft between June 2017 and February at the GSM Technology Village, Abuja.
The Chairman, GSM Village Handsets and Accessories Dealers’ Association, Chris Eze, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said majority of the culprits were arrested by the union’s task force put in place to ensure law and order in the market.
“It is not only armed robbers that steal phones. At times, you enter a taxi and you forget your phone in the vehicle, another person picks it, removes the SIM and brings it here to sell.
“Some of them will sell a phone worth N200, 000 at N20, 000 or N40, 000.
“Once a person brings a phone here for sale, we have our taskforce who liaise with the police to enforce law and order.
“Members of the task force will engage the seller and even from the price negotiation alone, we sometimes detect a phone that has been stolen.
“Once you cannot identify yourself as the real owner of a phone, we will hand you over to the police.
“For the one I am sure of, we have arrested more than 40 people from June, 2017, when I came in as the chairman,” he said.
Mr. Eze said the association also had rules that guide buying and selling of fairly used phones and laptops in the market, making it easier for his members to detect a stolen phone.
“We have a form that anyone who brings a fairly used items must fill to ascertain the authenticity of the phone.
“If you are the genuine owner of the phone, you fill the form with your valid ID Card. Perhaps, if any issue comes up on the phone, we will know how to trace you.
‘’Because even if you give us wrong information, you cannot fake your genuine ID card like the international passport, driver’s license,” he said.
Mr. Eze said that any member, who failed to abide by the rules would also face the wrath of the law.
The chairman, who sells new phones and accessories said although managing people was not an easy task, the executive members of the union ensured that all members adopted best practices in the market.(NAN)