MTN Nigeria worried about stolen BlackBerry devices

BlackBerry Curve 8520

MTN Nigeria has alerted the public about stolen and blacklisted MTN BlackBerry devices in the Nigerian market, saying the respective devices were suspended by the manufacturer, RIM, and cannot function properly on any network.

MTN Nigeria said that the theft of 4.160 BlackBerry devices, stolen while being shipped to South Africa, is under investigation, however the blacklisted devices are on sale on the grey market in Nigeria through unauthorized sources, this according to Nigeria’s Daily Champion publication.

“At least three different models of Blackberry devices were stolen by yet unknown persons in circumstances that are already being investigated by Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry line of devices”, said Wale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria, in a statement.

RIM has suspended the stolen devices, which cannot function properly on any network, anywhere in the world, he added, complaining that some of the Nigerian carrier’s customers had already sought assistance regarding loss of service on their BlackBerry devices, which were among the ones suspended following the theft.

Following complaints an investigation has been launched and systems have been put in place to track stolen devices. BlackBerry users can contact the centre and check for the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers, to make sure they don’t possess a stolen device. Moreover, the numbers will be published in the Nigerian national newspapers.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), a unique number given to every single mobile phone can be retrieved by dialling *#06# on a BlackBerry device.

“We are appealing to our teeming customers and the general public to ensure that they buy their MTN Blackberry devices directly from MTN Services centres or any of its Connect Stores or authorized distributors”, added Goodluck. He urged customers not to purchase BlackBerrys from any other source, whether they carry the MTN logo or not.

The models affected include 3,900 pieces of the 8520 Curve, 180 pieces of 8320 Curve and 80 pieces of 9000 Bold.


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