While Flipkart has been embroiled in many scandals of late, including the big billion day fiasco, the debate on its now-retracted app-only push, or the various discount discrepancies as reported by customers, the ecommerce giant finds itself in another soup.
According to reports, the Delhi police have arrested 6 men for stealing a consignment of 1500 phones worth over a crore from Hong Kong cargo terminal, and selling the phones mainly on Flipkart.
During investigation, the IMEI numbers of these stolen phones were traced and it came to light that a number of such phones were in use in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Mysore, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chandigarh.
“When the users were contacted, they revealed they have purchased these mobile phones from flipkart and had valid receipts,” said Dinesh Kumar Gupta, DCP, IGI.
Flipkart follows a marketplace model and helps sellers and buyers connect on a common platform, so it may be excused for aiding a crime and merely falling short on its due diligence. A Flipkart spokesperson has assured full cooperation through the investigation process. “Each and every one of our 40,000 plus sellers are mandated to adhere to stringent guidelines. Any exception to, or violation of, this code of conduct is taken very seriously. We enforce a strict policy of zero tolerance against unscrupulous sellers who sell products that are fake, stolen or in violation of any applicable law of the land,” he said.
The scam to light when the owner of a logistics firm handling the shipment of phones to New Delhi filed a missing complaint with the Delhi police and upon deeper investigation, Delhi police got hold of one of the perpetrators. The others were reached through him. While most of the stolen phones were sold online, the others had been sold to mobile outlet owners across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Mysore, etc.
Flipkart has chosen to remain silent on the issue.