Cellphone scam in Quetta costs exchequer Rs470m
By Amin Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: Chief of the intelligence and investigation wing of the Federal Board of Revenue has unearthed a fraud involving unauthorised clearance of hundreds of thousands of cellphones from the Quetta airport without payment of customs duty and other taxes.
According to FBR sources, preliminary investigations revealed that the fraud caused an estimated loss of Rs470 million to the national exchequer.
The sources told this correspondent that the directorate-general of intelligence and investigation had lodged FIRs against 14 importers and customs officials.
Raids are being conducted in various parts of Quetta for the importers involved in the fraud and eight Customs officials at the airport have been suspended.
The importers are reported to have removed the phones without filling ‘goods declaration’ with the help of the officials.
The investigations revealed that 54 consignments brought from China and Dubai had been cleared without payment of duties and taxes.
The smuggling of mobile phones has also been a problem for law-enforcement agencies because criminals and terrorists use such phones and calls made from or to them cannot be traced.