Mobile operators in the United Kingdom will block the mobile phones that are found to have been looted in the riots that took over London last week.
According to tech website PC World, smartphones and other handsets that have been stolen by rioters from mobile phone stores located in London, Birmingham and Manchester will be blocked within a few hours once the store owners hand over the list to various companies.
Authorities suggested that consumer electronics looted from shops in the various areas will hard to track down, but mobile phones are connected to their network operators and can easily be blocked to stop any further use.
“Once they have examined their stock records, store owners will be able to report the hardwired IMEI numbers for each lost handset which will result in networks adding them to their Equipment Identity Register (EIR), which will stop them working with any SIM within 24 hours,” the website reads.
The phones won’t be activated in the UK with any mobile operator since the EIR list will be forwarded to the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which will allow any network carrier to block the phone if activated in the country.
However, it is possible to separate a handset from its IMEI number given the right equipment, but they can not then get a new IMEI that will function in the UK. This does then offer the possibility that they might be sold abroad.