Tunji Disu, the Rapid Response Service Commander in Nigeria has emphasised that Nigerians could land themselves in jail if they should leave Nigeria with their UK used phones.

The reason he gave for this is that a lot of these UK used/fairly used phones have been flagged outside Nigeria as stolen. In his words:

You may go to jail if you take your “London used phones” (second hand phones) to Uk, US, Germany, South Africa, etc, as most of the “London used phones” have been flagged off as #robbed, #stolen or been used for #fraud. We confirm recoveries of such phones in Lagos. Be warned!

Thousands of phones are stolen monthly, snatched from their owners on the streets. The phones are passed from one network to another till they find their way into the palms of crime Lord’s who ship them to court tried where tech is scarce.

Recently, The Sun UK reported a rise in street-phone-theft, with acid armed criminals riding on motorbikes and snatching iPhones. The SUN UK also reported that the stolen phones through a network of crime gangs are able to find their way to countried like Nigeria where they are cracked, stripped off personal data and sold for cheap.

The problem is that Nigeria hasn’t joined any of the global networks created to combat the illicit trade of stolen gadgets. Networks like that will assign a unique number to each gadget sold in any of the countried involved and once the gadget is reported as stolen, such gadget can be rendered useless in all the countries involved in the agreement.


However, Nigeria’s reluctance to join means they are opening themselves up for illegal import. And if  the commander of RSS rather than call for a unified database for all gadgets in Nigeria so as to track stolen ones, is advising Nigerians to leave their UK used phones behind when they travel. Then there is a big problem.


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Ebube Emeka

Ebube Emeka is a programmer, web developer and tech freak. He's a top writer at KONGONUT where he reviews products and brands.

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