Old mobile phones
Used phones. File photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Dubai Police seized around 700,000 old mobile phones and parts that suspects were trying to reassemble and sell as ‘new’ phones by putting them in new packaging.

Colonel Salah Bu Osaiba, director of Anti-Economic Crimes Department at Dubai Police, said officers, in cooperation with Dubai Economy, raided a villa used as a makeshift warehouse to store the mobile phones in Deira area.

“We received information about a villa used as a store and factory to rebuild mobile phones from old ones to sell in the market at cheap prices after making new packaging using a special machine,” said Col Bu Osaiba.

Suspect arrested

After obtaining the search and arrest warrants, teams raided the villa and arrested one suspect who was alone in the villa, which housed around 700,000 mobile phones of known brands.

“We found thousands of mobile phone parts ready to be reassembled and packaged to sell it in the market.”

Initial investigations revealed that the suspect was using the villa and selling the phones to shops at low prices.

“He was using some labourers to sell the phones to people in the street as some people can’t tell the difference between original and fake phones, [and they were lured] by cheap prices,” added Bu Osaiba.

The suspect admitted to reassembling the used phones and making ‘new’ phones – which might not even work – to place the ‘new’ boxes.

“These phones were about to go in the market without warranty at a very cheap price.”

Col Bu Osaiba urged community members to buy mobile phones from verified sources and shops and always ask for a warranty and check the serial number on the box.

“Unfortunately some people believe they managed to get a cheap phone but it’s fake and won’t operate or sometimes operate for few days only. The worst thing is to buy it from unknown people or sources,” he said.

The suspect has been referred to Dubai Public Prosecution for legal action.