After using generous discounts of 20% or more, staff have sold on the phones on eBay, according to a company source.
'It is actually nothing new that staff in mobile phone shops have supplemented income with this abusive perk,' said one industry source. 'What is fresh is that O2 is cracking down on the practice in a sign that mobile firms are no longer prepared to turn a blind eye. The iPhone is an iconic product for O2 and it makes sense to start there, but I predict that we will see this spread across the sector. The days when this kind of scam could be ignored are over.'
Twenty more staff members are believed to be under investigation.