Tens of thousands of phones on UK streets snatched by acid-armed yobs, according to Daily Sun are being shipped down to supply a booming black market run by crime lords in Nigeria, and sold for up to £560 to Nigeria’s tech-starved middle classes.
Here Sun’s report on the criminal act;
Sun investigators discovered “UK used” iPhones being sold for £560 in stores and markets in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos. Business is booming for the Nigerian racketeers because of soaring demand from the oil-rich middle classes in a country where hi-tech gadgets are relatively scarce.
And because Nigeria has not signed up to a global deal blacklisting stolen phones, British moped gangs are able to keep the crime bosses supplied by exporting tens of thousands of snatched mobiles.
MPs urged police to cut off that supply by cracking down on the moped gangs.
Tory MP Bob Neill, chairman of the Commons Justice Committee, said: “This is a very serious matter. We’ve seen an increase in moped crimes across the UK.
“The police need to take these crimes more seriously and make investigating them a higher priority. And sentences need to reflect that this is serious organised crime which should attract tougher penalties.”
In 2016 there were 446,000 UK phone thefts. In London alone there were 60,000 mobile thefts and robberies, almost two-thirds of them iPhones.
In the 12 months to June 2017, the Met recorded 16,158 phone crimes related to mopeds, more than three times those reported in the year to June 2016.
The moped thugs are willing to resort to appalling violence. Three weeks ago raider Derryck John was jailed for 10½ years for hurling acid in the face of six people in London. He is one of an increasingly violent breed of young criminals hunting in packs armed with corrosive chemicals and knives.
They travel two to a moped so the passenger can grab valuables, as they pass a victim. The phones they grab are first plundered of data, which is used to try to hack bank accounts. They are then sold on in bulk to middle men who ship them to eastern Europe to be stripped of private information and reconditioned. The phones are then moved on for sale — with Nigeria, Algeria and India the main markets.
The Sun witnessed the end of the chain at the sprawling “Computer Village” market in the Lagos suburb of Ikeja. Multiple stores offered “UK phones and accessories” and “UK used phones at affordable prices.”
Traders questioned insisted their merchandise was from reputable sources. A seller at Emeka Michael EB International Shop said: “Most of our phones are London used.”