In a major shocker, more than 13,500 Vivo smartphones have been seized with the same International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
The matter came into notice back in January, and now, after a five-month-long investigation, the cyber cell of Meerut Police has validated the matter and filed a formal fraud case against the Chinese smartphone maker.
While the manager of the service center in Delhi repeatedly insisted that the IMEI had not been changed, the cyber cell discovered that more than 13,500 smartphones were running on the exact same number as that of the police personnel's phone.
The information was validated by telcos, following which a case of fraud was registered against Vivo and the service center in question.
In a video interview tweeted by ZEE journalist Jitender Sharma, a Meerut Police official said that the technical aspects of the case are still being assessed and the company officials have been contacted to understand how over 13,000 phones ended up running on the same IMEI.
Multiple devices cannot have the same IMEI, the official in the video stressed while calling the matter 'concerning'.
Often printed on the box of smartphones as well as coded into them, 15-digit IMEI numbers remain unique to devices and can be used to identify them or stop them from accessing the network in cases of theft.
Now, if more than 13,500 phones use the same IMEI, it would be a major problem to track those units, especially in cases of criminal acts.