A number of institutions and individuals were stated to be involved in the case of illegal International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) with a total state loss of IDR 353 billion.
The Criminal Investigation Agency of the Indonesian National Police (Bareskrim Polri) succeeded in uncovering the illegal IMEI case and arrested 6 suspects.
“We have arrested 6 suspects. Among them are suppliers of illegal electronic devices, identified with initials ‘P’, ‘D’, ‘E’, and ‘B’, and all of them are private individuals. Then we also secured F a State Civil Apparatus of the Ministry of Industry, and also ‘A’, a State Civil Apparatus of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise,” explained Commissioner General Wahyu Widada, Kabareskrim Polri.
It is suspected that the perpetrators obtained improper access to the Centralized Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), which processes IMEI information.
With the illegal access, the perpetrators were able to input and list IMEI number of cellphones without fulfilling applicable regulations. A total of 191,965 IMEI were uploaded to the CEIR system.
“From what these criminals have done in 10 days, it is predicted that the number of losses from the 191,965 illegal IMEI uploaded, calculated with 11.5% tax, is around IDR 353,748,000,000,” said Wahyu.
Currently, there are 15 witnesses and 4 experts who have been examined. In carrying out their actions, the six perpetrators used online buying and selling accounts by illegally offering IMEI unblocking services on behalf of the Ministry of Industry.
Furthermore, in the modus operandi of the perpetrators, he continued, they did not legally process the IMEI application to the Ministry of Industry.
“You get approval from the Ministry of Communication and Information or without rights directly enter the IMEI data into the CEIR application,” said Wahyu.
Wahyu said the discovery of the illegal IMEI case was based on a report from the Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) and there was a collaborative cooperation to uncover the crime.
“We have been coordinating since the beginning, in fact we have followed up since the report from the Ministry,” said Wahyu, on July 28, 2023.
This case started with a complaint from the Directorate General of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment and Electronics (Dirjen ILMATE) of the Ministry of Industry that there was an alleged attempt to enter data illegally.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita explained that he had once received an offer to be involved in the illicit practice.
After refusing the offer, he then conducted an investigation of the abuse of permit authority. Currently, there are only 4 institutions that have the permit to access the IMEI registration system, including the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Finance (Customs Directorate), Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemenkominfo) and cellular operators.
“So I was teased, invited to ‘join’ in illegal cell phones business by several parties,” said Agus.
Then, he asked the Director General of ILMATE to conduct an investigation and hoped that the Police would dismantle illegal IMEI management, including the scheme, in a thorough and fair manner.