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(From The Nation (Kenya) - AAGM)
Byline: Gakuu Mathenge
Theft of handsets is a menace sure to be in the East Africa region for quite some time
Crooks in the streets of Nairobi are putting to waste years of planning and millions of shillings of investment in expensive technology that had been intended to stop mobile phone thefts in the region.
And the mobile phone networks, who footed the multi-million shillings bill for the security software programme and the government regulator - the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK)- are at a loss about how to respond to the nightmare.
For between Sh500 to Sh2,000, enterprising young, computer-savvy youngsters are unblocking stolen cell phones which are sold again to an unsuspecting public that believes in the networks promise that once stolen and blocked, the phones become useless to the thief.
Investigations by the Nation showed that electronic and IT crooks in the city are making money dismantling the newly launched cell phone blocking scheme called Equipment Identification Register (EIR), operated by the mobile phone service providers in Kenya- Safaricom and Kencell and the MTN of Uganda.
Since its launch in Nairobi just …