The Peruvian Ministry of Interior announced in a press release the implementation of a new system to tackle the widespread use of stolen or illegally manipulated cellphones in the country. Peru is renowned for a flourishing “second hand” market of stolen devices.
In Lima the most frequented places are Polvos Azules, Wilson, Gamarra and Las Malvinas. Many products offered in these places are of unknown origin and include counterfeit consumer goods (knock-offs), piracy of any types of digital media (movies, music and software) and also electronics. The area of "Las Malvinas" and the surroundings of the Av. Argentina are known places for the distribution of stolen goods.
Many “used” cellphones you encounter in these Peruvian markets are stolen and will be sold without any warranty. Some of these devices have been even illegally manipulated and their IMEI number changed (International Mobile Equipment Identity).
The planned new system will be able to detect and disable stolen devices that have been reported by their owners to RENTESEG “Registro Nacional de Equipos Terminal Móviles para la Seguridad” (National Registry of Mobile Terminal Equipment for Security). According to the Ministry the system will be created as part of the implementation of the Legislative Decree No. 1338 published on January the 6th.
The current system has to be updated urgently as it has many limitations to efficiently detect blocked or stolen equipment’s, mainly due to the fact that it is not possible to verify the IMEI numbers.
As soon a cellphone has been reported to the authority, its IMEI will be added to a blacklist so it cannot be used with any carrier in the nationwide networks. For those devices that have been manipulated with a cloned IMEI an additional security step is in place whereby the operating company (carrier) shares the new registration of their customer with OSPITEL “Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones” (Supervisory Agency of Private Investment in Telecommunications). As soon a match is identified in the database the cellular device will be deactivated.
Implementation in 120 days
According to information provided by the Ministry the implementation period by the responsible parties OSPITEL and the MTC “Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones” (Ministry of Transport and Communications) is within 120 days.