India bans mobile phones without international ID code

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In an attempt to combat terrorist modus operandis, India has ordered the recall and consequent ban of mobile phones without a unique international identification code.

Phones without the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, a 15-digit number that is unique to all mobile phones and gadgets, allows a network to track calls and to identify the phone that made the call. The federal telecom ministry reports that around 25 million such phones are currently in use in India.

It is believed that most major terrorist groups in India use such phones, which are primarily imported from China and Taiwan. These phones tend to be popular in India because of their low prices, normally ranging anywhere from $60 to $120.

The Indian government has been motioning for the recall and ban of the said phones for some time now, but has met setbacks due to the inability of local mobile phone carriers to track culprit phones.