KARACHI : The Pakistan Customs raided a bungalow in Karachi’s Defence area on Saturday and seized over 80,000 smuggled cell phones.
The Directorate Customs Intelligence Karachi also arrested three suspects in the raid. The phones are estimated to be worth Rs1.2 billion.
The smugglers got the phones cleared from the Karachi International Container Terminal through mis-declaration. The company involved in importing the seized mobile phones was identified as M/S Digicom.
Customs Intelligence Karachi Director Sameena Zehra formed a six-member team including ADC Ali Zaman Gardezi and Principal Appraiser Vaqar Qureshi that raided a bungalow in Defence Phase-7 and found cartons containing 80,000 cell phones.
Zehra said even well-reputed companies were misusing the Customs Green Channel facility and mis-declaration cases were on the rise.
She added that the company involved in smuggling the phones had imported 800 containers in the last few years and they were all cleared through the green channel.
Meanwhile, in a separate raid on Friday the customs authorities in its biggest raid seized a container which had more than 63,000 mobile phones and over 500 tablets worth 285 million in the market.
Customs Collector Preventive Iftikhar Ahmed, in a news conference said that they stopped the container near Karachi’s Gull plaza after receiving it received credible information that some reputable importers were misusing the facility of green channel under paperless Web Based One Customs (WeBOC) system and getting their goods cleared from Karachi by declaring them LED lights and bulbs in their description.
The official added that they have registered a case against M/S Digicom, which was involved in the smuggling electronic items through mis-declaration. He added that the authority is also searching for the four directors of the company and for three more containers of this sort.
The official also informed that Friday’s raid also saved the exchequer from losing Rs104 million.
The Customs Prevention officials at the Karachi airport seized $100,418, 357,845 dirhams and 70,000 Saudi riyals from an elderly couple leaving for Dubai.
Customs official Wasif Malik said Abdul Sattar and Salima Sattar were scheduled to depart for Dubai on flight EK 605.
The foreign currency was found hidden in lunchboxes, bread boxes and shoe boxes.