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Bogota fights ‘scourge’ of phone theft

posted by Joey O'Gorman

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National and international security agencies will convene in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Saturday to shape a plan of action against the worldwide “scourge” of mobile phone theft.

Agencies and international authorities like INTERPOL, Scotland Yard, Ameripol and the FBI will join with national and international communications ministers, police authorities and representatives from the telecommunications industry, for a forum in Bogota, the capital of a country where according to reports 4,000 phones are stolen a day.

At the event the “Declaration of Bogota” will be signed, a document which recognizes the problem of mobile phone theft and gives a commitment to coordinate actions to combat the issue.

The Colombian communications minister organized the forum to fight phone theft as a worldwide problem which “requires a greater commitment from all involved in the struggle against this scourge, because it is necessary that citizens are aware of the problem and the damage it causes to society,” according to the minister.

The communications minister said that the stolen equipment is sold by criminal gangs on international markets and because of this it requires an international alliance where customs can implement measures to control the circulation of stolen phones.

Many phones are pick-pocketed but some are also taken violently which the minister said has “a strong negative impact on the citizen’s safety, which is evidenced in physical assaults and loss of human life.”

Stolen phones are reportedly sold abroad, but can also be easily bought on the streets and at stalls in Colombia’s towns and cities.

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