[from Islington Tribune]
Mobile phone thefts linked to Algeria
DOZENS of mobile phones are being stolen to order every week and ‘fenced’ through middlemen in Finsbury Park who mail them in bundles to north Africa.
A senior police officer said last night (Thursday) that Blackstock Road was one of London’s “hotspots” for fencing stolen mobiles to Algeria.
Chief Inspector Jane Johnson said the handsets are robbed across the capital and brought to Blackstock Road for sale through unscrupulous shopkeepers.
Now a six-month clampdown is underway in a bid to stamp out the sale of stolen goods. Eleven people have already been arrested.
Chief Insp Johnson said: “We know there’s a strong Algerian link and a market for stolen mobile phones in Algeria. They have been blocked from working in the UK but will still work in Algeria.
“Very often they are shipped out of the country and the word is out that if people come to Blackstock Road, it is where they can get mobile phones.”
She added that Islington police took action after parcels containing mobile phones bound for Algeria were intercepted by Royal Mail and airport customs officers.
A turf war between criminals selling on stolen goods has also led to three stabbings around Blackstock Road cafés in recent months.
As well as mobile phones, seizures have included SIM cards and satellite navigation systems.