May 20, 2013 | 04:52 AM (BD Time)
20 May, 2013 Monday
1 in every 3 mobiles is fake!
Around one third of the imported mobile phones are fake as importers bringing in cheaper and low quality handsets from China with L/Cs (Letters of Credit) they open to import cell phones of renowned companies.
The logos or stickers are of branded phone sets but the inside, in fact, is of lower quality, traders and regulatory officials say. A syndicate of traders is collecting billions of taka from the customers every year through cheating, Mobile Phone Businessmen Association president Nizamuddin Jitu has told bdnews24.com.
"Around 10 million handsets enter the country every year. Thirty percent of them are of lower quality," he said.
"They are being sold with stickers or logos of renowned companies," Jitu said. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Corporation (BTRC) chairman Zia Ahmed has admitted that imports of fake mobile phone sets are happening.
"The fake handsets have fake IMIE (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers. Customers are being tricked," he said. The airport authorities have been directed not to give clearance to fake mobile phone sets, Zia said.
A top BTRC official deputed to prevent fake handsets from entering the market also admitted that one third of the imported mobile phones are fake.
Around 80,000 such mobile sets have been seized at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, he said.
According to BTRC, there were nearly 86 million mobile users in the country until January and the importers were importing handsets worth billions of taka for them every year. BTRC's clearance is needed to import mobile phones in line with rules. Importers have to submit IMIEs to BTRC before importing sets.
Officials of the regulator and traders said a syndicate of importers are opening L/Cs to import mobiles of Nokia, Samsung or LG but importing lower quality sets from China or other countries. In many cases, the sets enter the market by deceiving customs and BTRC. A BTRC official has told bdnews24.com that tags and stickers of renowned companies are also being imported. "The stickers, stuck on special negative papers, cannot be examined by only touching or seeing," he said. "Such stickers don't lose brightness in six or seven months as they are made through a special process. Customers fall prey to cheats finally," he said.
The import cost of a fake handset is Tk 1,000-2,500 but they are sold at Tk 5,000-25,000, he added.
A handset seller of Motalib Plaza market, requesting anonymity, has told bdnews24.com that maximum sellers are selling fake mobile phones for more profit.
When customers understand that the sets are fake, they want to return but face sufferings, he said.
Asked about the matter, mobile trader association chief Jitu said several syndicates are using fake licences to import such mobiles. He, however, added that no members of the association are involved with the illegal trade of fake mobile sets.
According to BTRC officials, the regulator and law enforcers are conducting regular drives to stop trade of fake mobile sets. One official has said that 3,000 fake mobile sets have been seized from Gazi International's warehouse at Motalib Plaza in such a drive recently.
The lower quality handsets had stickers of renowned companies, he said. BTRC has identified a part of the syndicate of fake mobile traders. The regulator has found that three companies have imported 82,000 fake mobile sets by providing false information.
Art and Culture
Focus on Chittagong
Fashion & Beauty
Food and Drink
Law and Justice
New Nation Supplement
Editor: Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Adviser Editor: A.M. Mufazzal, Printed and Published by Mainul Hosein from the New Nation Printing Press, 1.R.K Mission Road, Dhaka-1203 Phones: New Nation PABX: 7122654, 7114514, 7122655, Fax: 880-2-7122650, 9512775 email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org for advertisement, email@example.com