EAC countries to ink a deal aimed at curbing stolen phones

November 24, 2012

East African Community countries officials are expected to sign a bilateral agreement on before mid next year aimed at blocking the cross-border use of stolen mobile phones. This will a welcome development to member states public which has seen rise in number of crimes involving stolen mobile phones. An official privy to the bilateral agreement plans revealed to me that before mid next year, the law will be in place and is expected to block the cross border use of stolen mobile phones. They are expected to announce a plan to share databases of stolen phones in all the five member countries in the East African Community to prevent reactivation. The planned agreement will enable crack down on the growing trend of stolen mobile devices and the collaboration to block reactivation of stolen mobile devices in the five countries will definitely send a clear message to thieves and criminal gangs that thrives across the borders of East African countries and will also be a stern warning to those involved with such that crime that does not pay.

An official I spoke to, say that in Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura, Kampala, Mombasa, Dar Es Salaam, Arusha, Entebbe and other large East African cities, roughly 57 percent of all robberies now involve cell phones,Tablets and smartphones like the iPhones brands a particularly tempting target for thieves in most incidents reported across the five countries. Some stolen devices in the East African Countries end up being sold in neighboring states and appear to be resold within the East and Central Africa countries markets and therefore this move is highly welcome and could prove fatal to electronic gadgets thieves who have been colluding with rogue law enforcement agents to thwart recovery processes.The move comes months after various mobile carriers in East Africa began implementing a system that is able block the reuse of stolen mobile phones by sharing data on thefts.East African countries mobile providers are also expected to participate in the international stolen device database, which is used to identify and deactivate a stolen device after it has been reported. Some mobile providers in East Africa have also been able to access the database for information about stolen devices since mid August.

Contador Harrison