"This means that if you insert a SIM card into a stolen or lost phone, the device will be blocked and will not work," an official said at a news conference hosted by the Police Department in Vilnius.
Lithuania's three largest telecoms companies -- Bitė Lietuva, Tele2 and Telia Lietuva -- signed an agreement with the data analysis and artificial intelligence solutions developer Scorify for the development of a single public database of blocked IMEIs.
The new system will allow the operators to exchange data and block devices reported as stolen or lost in Lithuania and abroad. They database will also include IMEI numbers blacklisted by more than 140 operators around the world.
"This means that a phone stolen from a backpack in Lithuania will not operate with an English SIM card and a device lost in Britain will not operate in Lithuania," Scorify CEO Žilvinas Milerius said.
According to police, some 3,103 phones were reported stolen in 2016, 2,348 in 2017 and 393 in the first quarter of 2018. Stolen phones are often used to commit other crimes, especially fraud.
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