The theft of integrated circuits, chips and motherboards worth Rs 26 crore meant for the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge series phones, planned for launch this month, may have been carried out to hamper production and delay the launch, police suspect.
A container truck carrying components worth Rs 26 crore for Samsung mobile phones was allegedly intercepted by four armed assailants near Kalindi Kunj in Southeast Delhi on Wednesday and driven off to Etah. The assailants reportedly pulled the driver out, beat him up and drove off with the container.
Police suspect a rival company could have benefited from the incident. The truck was later found by police and the stolen components recovered. Police have arrested four persons. They are being questioned.
According to police, the theft of the cellphone components that arrived in the country by flight from the Samsung headquarters in Korea for the production of phones worth Rs 250 crore would have had a direct impact on production.
“Who could have benefited from the theft is still unclear, but we are probing the role of rival companies in the matter. More than the loss of money, the theft would have resulted in delay in production of Samsung phones. The company had imported the phone components by air since they needed it urgently and the theft would have clearly meant a delay in production and a further delay in the launch of the series,” a senior police officer said.
Samsung officials too confirmed these were vital components used in production and the theft would have delayed the entire production line, police said.
“One of the four accused, who allegedly executed the theft, is a former employee of the cargo company that has a contract to transport Samsung components to its factory here. The accused knew the route the container takes to the factory and also the schedule, including dates when Samsung components arrive from Korea. We are now trying to ascertain and identify who the beneficiaries could have been in the matter. The investigation in the matter is on and more arrests are likely,” a police officer said.
Police said the stolen components could not have been sold in the grey market. Each box in the container truck was worth Rs 10 lakh, police added. The imported components were to be taken to the Samsung factory in Noida Phase 2.