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Police arrest 3 Burundi citizens and recover 55 stolen phones in Kisii

At least three Burundian nationals were arrested and 55 stolen mobile phones were recovered from them in Kisii town.

Detectives said they are pursuing more suspects in the matter.

Police said the three were mobile phone smugglers.

Police suspect that the devices had been stolen elsewhere and were being collected for transport to an unknown market and probably to neighboring countries.

The mobile phones were believed to have been stolen from locals and other urban areas and were likely to be sent to Burundi for a new market.

That allows new users to operate the devices without being tracked, police said.

These types of incidents are common in urban areas.

Police say stolen devices are sold to neighboring countries and efforts are underway to crack down on cartels.

In Nairobi, several suspects have been arrested in operations targeting repair shops that handle such stolen devices.

Some devices are stolen after victims are injured or even killed, leading to serious charges.

Police Chief Adamson Bungei warned second-hand mobile phone sellers and electronic engineers or repairers who tamper with the devices that they will face serious charges when investigations are concluded.

“If you are an engineer or mobile phone repairer, stop handling stolen devices. You become an accessory to the crime when you are found,” he said.

He said detectives are now following good leads on the matter and aim to address the threat.

Dozens of mobile phone users are often robbed on the road by thieves who take the devices for repair before selling them to unsuspecting buyers.

Bungei encouraged those whose devices are stolen to always report the same to the police.

DCI Nairobi region coordinator Njeru Nthiga warned mobile phone thieves operating under the guise of sellers and phone repair shop owners that detectives are on their trail, equally warning genuine operators that Be careful when handling second-hand electronic products, as it can put you in serious trouble with the law.

Police say they are targeting motorcyclists behind the trend of stealing devices as part of efforts to tackle the problem.

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