Not quite right
Thanks for an interesting article however some of the facts are muddled, perhaps this will help.
Firstly the majority of companies that “recycle” phones do not recycle them in the traditional way.
As you say they are shipped abroad to developing nations to be used as second owner handsets, this is because the cost of new handsets in these countries is outside the reach of most of the population.
As a result in the UK most of these companies have moved to a “buy” rather than a “denote” model to acquire handsets and this has attracted the attention of thieves as an easy way to turn stolen phones into cash. This model is now extending to laptops, sat navs, iPhones etc as there is a market in the developing world for these as well.
The problem has been that in the case of a mobile there are two flags that indicate to a “recycler” that they should not be handling the handset. One is a crime report where the Police have been informed by the owner the handset has been stolen and the second is a blocked report where the owner has told the network they are no longer is possession of the handset and its has been blocked on the UK networks, however they have not told the Police. Both these flags are available to the “recyclers” the second hand trade and the public via the service at www.checkmend.com
Before the advent of the Recyclers Charter the legal status of these blocked handsets has been a grey area and many (but not all) recyclers have been selling these abroad to countries that don’t use the network block list to identify stolen phones, hence they will work on networks in these countries.
This is where the figure of 100,000 phones a year comes from with an average value of £25 per handset and it is this trade that will be stopped.
The recent developments of the Charter has clarified the legal status of a blocked phone and these are to be regarded in the same way as handsets reported to the Police, and as a result must not be handled or sold by recyclers, second hand outlets, the public or retailers. Doing so will leave the seller open to prosecution for handling stolen goods.
This is a major step forward in reducing the outlets for stolen phones and as a result reducing the appeal to steal them in the first place.
I hope this helps.
Recipero Limited Supplier of CheckMEND and the National Mobile Phone Register.