Customs officials thwarted smuggling bid after seizing 48 smartphones from an airhostess on Tuesday at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA).
Nusrat, a stewardess at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), had stashed the high-end cellular phones in her luggage so as to avoid the import duties and taxes.
A customs official informed that Nusrat was on her way out of the airport, after disembarking from the London-originated flight (PK 786), when she was randomly stopped at the baggage-checking counter. Airlines staff are usually exempted from this practice or it is overlooked, according to an official.
Once her bags were opened, customs officials discovered 48 smartphones and immediately took her into custody, shifting her to the Customs Headquarters for further interrogation as all smartphones being imported into the country have to be declared to authorities for tax purposes.
PIA and customs officials are trying to bury the issue and pressurising authorities on the ground to release the airhostess along with the smartphones, he added.
Till the filing of this report, no case had been registered against the airhostess.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.