Pakistan Customs recently recovered around 80,000 smuggled cellphones in a raid in Karachi. The operation raised a few eyebrows on the role of officials in increased smuggling cases. As a result, Pakistan Customs Intelligence is investigating the possible involvement of customs officials in the matter.
Read More: Customs Recover Over 80,000 Smuggled Phones
Concerns were raised when customs officials at checkpoints failed to identify containers carrying cellphones in the name of LED lights. LED lights are much lighter than cell phones, so it was a shocker that officials failed to pick this out when the containers were cleared.
M/S Digicom was the said company which smuggled thousands of QMobile phones into the country. QMobile received manufacturer status a few years ago which meant that the company would only import raw material while the phones would be manufactured here. That was also found to be incorrect and the company was found misusing its status to sell imported/rebranded phones in Pakistan.
The company in question squandered the green channel facility and used it to smuggle cell phones instead. Companies who have availed the green channel facility don’t have to go through the routine examination processes.
Even though the company was availing the green channel facility, it was the officials’ responsibility to determine what was inside the luggage.
The containers were weighed before passing the final clearance, however, none of the officials were able to determine what was inside them. Weighing technique is used to have an estimate of what is being carried, officials could have easily determined had they paid any attention to their duties.
Preventive Collectorate Karachi seized four containers, however, only one was checked by Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) and all four were cleared to pass.
Companies tackle the customs duties by mis-declaring assets which cripples the national treasury. According to an estimate, the smuggling company tried to avoid Rs. 160 million in taxes by illegally moving the cells in to country.
Companies are charged at following rates;
Customs duty: Rs. 250 per set
Sales tax: Rs. 1,500 per set
Regulatory duty: Rs. 250 per set
Income tax: 6%