A syndicate that specialises in repackaging used phones and selling them as brand new in the market has been busted. In separates raids on the warehouse leading to the smashing up of the syndicate and 18 other phone shops, about 7,000 used mobile phones were seized by inspectors from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Ibrahim Bahzad, director of the intellectual property division at DED, told Emarat Al Youm daily that the warehouse was raided after DED inspectors noticed that it was working late at night. “Our men noticed that vans were going to the store late at night and offloading large quantities of mobile phones, to be distributed to the market later,” he said. The street value of the phones seized was put around Dh7 million (N378 million). “They are used mobile phones but were renovated and maintained to be sold in the local market as brand new handsets. This is considered commercial fraud,” said Bahzad, who added that other handsets were also seized from 18 mobile phone shops in Nayef and Satwa areas as they violated copyrights and intellectual property.