Moped thugs are snatching tens of thousands of phones on UK streets to supply a booming black market run by crime lords in Nigeria. The mobiles, seized by acid-armed yobs, are shipped 4,500 miles to be sold for up to £560 to Nigeria’s tech-starved middle classes.
Sun investigators discovered “UK used” iPhones being sold for £560 in stores and markets in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos. Business is booming for the Nigerian racketeers because of soaring demand from the oil-rich middle classes in a country where hi-tech gadgets are relatively scarce.
And because Nigeria has not signed up to a global deal blacklisting stolen phones, British moped gangs are able to keep the crime bosses supplied by exporting tens of thousands of snatched mobiles. MPs urged police to cut off that supply by cracking down on the moped gangs.
Tory MP Bob Neill, chairman of the Commons Justice Committee, said: “This is a very serious matter. We’ve seen an increase in moped crimes across the UK.
The police need to take these crimes more seriously and make investigating them a higher priority. And sentences need to reflect that this is serious organised crime which should attract tougher penalties.”
The phones are then sold on in bulk to middle men who ship them to eastern Europe to be stripped of private information and reconditioned. The phones are then moved on for sale — with Nigeria, Algeria and India the main markets. The Sun witnessed the end of the chain at the sprawling “Computer Village” market in the Lagos suburb of Ikeja. Multiple stores offered “UK phones and accessories” and “UK used phones at affordable prices.”