Crackdown Planned in Karachi Against Buyers of Stolen Cell Phones

On Saturday, authorities announced a comprehensive operation aimed at cracking down on illegal markets and shops engaged in the trade of stolen cell phones and vehicle parts in the city. DIG-West Karachi, Irfan Ali Baloch, addressing the media at his office, emphasized the urgency of dismantling drug dens that supplied narcotics to “drug addict robbers” in exchange for stolen cell phones.

Highlighting the alarming trend of citizens being targeted and killed during phone snatchings, he underscored the need for action against markets and vendors involved in selling stolen devices after altering their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers. The DIG acknowledged that some perpetrators had acquired the ability to alter the IMEI of stolen phones, facilitated by specialized software developed for this purpose. He further revealed that in the preceding 11 days, eight suspected robbers had been fatally shot, with 42 others apprehended with gunshot injuries.

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Referring to statistics from the CPLC, he noted a significant reduction of 50% in street crimes within the West Zone following these police interventions. The DIG highlighted that in 2023, approximately 100 individuals fell victim to fatal shootings by robbers within the city. He acknowledged a recent surge in violent street crimes in the ongoing year, attributing it primarily to the emergence and consolidation of organized criminal gangs.

According to him, investigations revealed that these robbers had formed gangs and networks to carry out street crimes. Many of the perpetrators involved in robbery-murder and robbery-injury cases were repeat offenders, having been arrested and imprisoned multiple times. Upon release, they emerged as hardened criminals willing to resort to violence at the slightest resistance.

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The DIG highlighted the concerning ease of access to firearms, noting the police’s efforts to determine the sources of these small arms obtained by robbers. Additionally, he mentioned plans to compile a list of junk dealers who engage in purchasing stolen vehicle parts, emphasizing that the police would take stern action against them. Furthermore, he disclosed intelligence indicating the involvement of drug den operators in the acquisition of snatched cell phones, prompting imminent large-scale efforts to dismantle these narcotics hubs.

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