Karachi, a prominent trade hub in Pakistan, is grappling with a fresh challenge – stolen mobile phones being illicitly resold through a process called “patching.” This technique alters the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, rendering tracking nearly impossible and complicating efforts to trace the stolen devices.
Perpetrators of this unlawful trade, operating within an organized network, offer these pilfered phones at significantly reduced prices, making it arduous for the general public to discern the deception. Verifying or reinstating the original IMEI number of a patched phone can only be reliably done through specific websites, the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), or skilled technicians.
This deception bears resemblance to tampering with the engine or chassis numbers of stolen vehicles, although reinstating the genuine IMEI number is comparably straightforward using software. The involved network maintains connections within law enforcement and government bodies, posing a challenge to curbing this illicit enterprise.