The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will disconnect all mobile phone handsets brought into the country illegally.
Fake, clone or illegally obtained handsets that are connected to telecom networks since August 1, 2019 will be disconnected using the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR), reads a BTRC statement issued on Sunday.
In the statement, the BTRC urged citizens to be aware of buying and selling such devices.
On July 29, 2019, the regulatory commission had requested citizens to check the legality of the phone sets through The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) before purchase.
Customers can send a message, typing KYD <space> fifteen-digit IMEI number to 16002, to check the legality of their phone sets. The IMEI numbers are printed on the handset's box. Buyers can also find it by dialing *#06#, said the BTRC statement.
The commission has decided to disconnect these devices from networks to reduce the threat of cyber-crime across the country.
Meanwhile, due to the illegal handset market, the government is losing around Tk4,000 crore annually in this sector.
According to the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Association (BMBA), there are around 30 million illegal phone sets in the country, and the number is increasing gradually.
From a legal importer, the government gets Tk3,000 against each device in the form of import duties. But the government losses the revenue when a mobile handset is sold or purchased illegally.