A passenger who was returning from Sharjah was arrested at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi after he was found trying to smuggle in Smartphones that are allegedly worth Rs. 1.9 million.
The staff of Pakistani Customs that were present at the arrival area were responsible for catching the culprit. The smartphones consisted of some high-end brands such as Apple, Samsung, LG etc. The indicted passenger, identified only as Mujahid, was soon taken into custody. A physical remand for him has been obtained from court.
Not the first time
Sadly, this case of smuggling phones into the country isn’t the first of its kind and is probably not the last. Just last year in a passenger from was arrested by custom officials at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. The man, identified as Naveed Bhatti, was coming from China when his luggage was detained.
To get through the custom officials he told them that he was coming from Saudi Arabia instead of China which is why he was keeping bottles of Aab-e-ZamZam. However, a quick scan of his luggage soon revealed that he was actually trying to smuggle in about 170 Mobile Phones that were hidden in the bottles.
Similarly, in July 2016, another case of smuggling was brought to light when custom officials were able to catch a passenger trying to smuggle in 1,645 mobiles phones along with 10,700 memory cards at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The estimated worth of all the equipment was Rs. 20 million.
A Serious Issue
According to a report, more than 59% of the mobile phones available in the market are actually smuggled. The practice of smuggling smartphones causes a loss of $1.1 billion to the national exchequer.
The increase in smuggling is also on the rise due to the unnecessary taxes on the industry. In the 2015-2016 budget, the government imposed new taxes and the impact was clearly visible when the legal mobile phone import dropped by 30%.
The market of smuggled smartphones also badly affects the legitimate mobile importers and distributors of mobile phones that are bound to invest, pay commission to the retailers, spend largely on marketing just to end up touching just 40% of the entire mobile phone market.
Sources: The Express Tribune, MoreMag.pk