Nigeria recorded a major success in the battle against fake phones when Mr. Lin Tian Huan, described as ‘kingpin’ of a Chinese syndicate that dumps fake phones in the country, was arrested Friday at Ikeja Computer Village, the nation’s biggest technology market.
The Phone & Allied Products Dealers Association, which recorded the feat when the alleged kingpin who is also a Chinese national was arrested by its task force when passing off fake Samsung and Nokia phone brands, said it marked a major breakthrough in its efforts to rid the market of fake phones and other counterfeit technology products.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Mr. Iyke Nwosu, President of PAPDAN”]PAPDAN, with membership cutting across over 5000 phone dealers, considers Friday’s arrest of the suspected fake phone ‘kingpin’ as “yet another millstone achievement in the association’s commitment to the zero tolerance on fake and substandard mobile phones in the market”[/blockquote]
Mr. Iyke Nwosu, the President of PAPDAN who confirmed the arrest to Technology Times said that the Chinese national Mr. Lin Tian Huan said to reside at No. 4 Cornerstone Estate, opposite Abiola Garden, Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos was allegedly caught in the act passing off the fake and substandard mobile phones as genuine Samsung and Nokia brands.
The suspect has been taken to the Nigeria Police Post co-located inside Ikeja Computer Village where he was said to have made useful disclosures on the activities of the fake phone syndicate operations in the country to the law enforcement agents, according to PAPDAN.
When questioned, the suspect Mr. Huan told the Police that over 10,000 pieces of different models of the counterfeited phone brands have been illegally imported into Nigeria, Nwosu confirmed to Technology Times.
PAPDAN believe that the suspect will be provide a vital clue in unraveling the activities of suspected Chinese cartel behind the flooding of Ikeja Computer Village with fake and counterfeit mobile phones, devices, gadgets and other counterfeit technology products that are passed off as genuine versions when sold to unsuspecting Nigerian consumers.
PAPDAN, with membership cutting across over 5000 phone dealers, considers Friday’s arrest of the suspected fake phone ‘kingpin’ as “yet another millstone achievement in the association’s commitment to the zero tolerance on fake and substandard mobile phones in the market”, Nwosu added.
The retail market for mobile phones in the country has been driven by the telecoms market, which has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years.
At the middle of 2014, Nigeria has recorded 130,780,703 active lines and 93.41%, according to official market statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator for the sector that has triggered the phenomenal rise in mobile phone users that are also increasing demand for various brands of handsets and devices.
There have been clampdowns on Nigerian phone sellers by government agencies over allegations that they promote and import fake products into the country mostly from China and other Asian countries.
The recent was in July 2014 when over 100 policemen men stormed Ikeja Computer Village, the nation leading technology market cluster to clampdown on alleged sales of counterfeit product.
At the time, PAPDAN, the umbrella body of phone dealers in the market described the raid as harassment of its members citing that it had risen to the challenge of fighting against distribution and sale of fake and substandard mobile phones in the market.
Nwosu said that the latest arrest of Huan indicates that PAPDAN was achieving result in its zero tolerance campaign against fake, substandard and counterfeit phones in the market.