Big Brother is watching you:
Police / Customs / Security Forces may require IMEI information during the course of an investigation. Both the GSM Association and BABT willingly assist with such enquiries.
IMEI numbers can be changed in many phones but not all..... In fact the mafias normally select models that can be hacked and stripped of all traces....It also seems some GSM manufacturers don't bother talking to the GSM consortium and generate their own fake IMEI numbers.
India Blocks Millions of Fake, Invalid IMEI Mobile Phones
I wrote maybe in 1999 about this issue to the SCMP and saying that the process of stopping stolen fones would be childs play... and that they were supporting the existence of an illegitimate 2nd hand market... I got no reply...
The infamous Calvin Craig tried to setup this.Secure A Phone here in Hong Kong and overseas. Register your IMEI (secure-a-phone) code
Not sure if it works. From what I understood the GSM operators were no supporting him. Anyway by no means I am telling anyone to part with their cash for this service.
Enter *#06# on your phone.... then you can look it up here if you are curious...
TAC list and phone model lookup
I just spoke to 3 and they confirmed that they cannot block phones using the IMEI number ... shame - it means there is always an incentive for some crooks to steal phones in HK!
there was rumour that many low end mobile phones (chinese local brands that not even heard of), they all share the same IMEI (probably to simplify their manufacturing process) so blocking one will stop all to work in the whole country (mainland china), that's why IMEI lock is not being used in this country!