Spike in mobile import, 962 smuggled phones seized in Peshawar

By Arhama Altaf - Web Editor

16th December, 2019

The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Department on Sunday successfully seized 962 illegal smuggled mobiles worth of millions of rupees from armed persons during an operation in Rind Road Peshawar.

According to the details, armed men, carrying illegal mobiles have attacked on a team of customs intelligence department Peshawar and opened firing on them, which was successfully retaliated.

Meanwhile, the customs department driver by using technique has run away vehicle which was loaded with illegal mobiles.

The customs officials also forcibly freed a Toyota Corolla vehicle from captivity of the gunmen.

The first investigation report (FIR) was registered in Banmari Police Station against the unknown armed persons and arrested a person allegedly involved in this illegal business.

Earlier, as per the data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s mobile handset import bill came in at roughly $388 million for the Jul-Oct period, a growth of 49 percent year-on-year.

Such an unusual growth in cellphone imports is occurring at a time when the overall import bill is shrinking in double digits.

Overall goods’ imports, as per PBS data, have declined by 19 percent year-on-year to come down to $15.3 billion in 4MFY20.

Between FY11 and FY19, cellphone imports averaged 1.4 percent of good’s imports for the period under review.

In FY20 thus far, handset imports have surged to 2.5 percent of goods’ imports.

Historical quantitative data from the PBS suggest that imports of cellular mobile phones typically grow in volume in one year followed by a lean year.

With imports averaging 11 million units in last three years, it is plausible that volumetric imports are picking up this fiscal, after imports coming in at 9.8 million units in FY19.

The business of smuggled, non-registered and PTA-blocked mobile phones was on its peak in the provincial capital, as the government departments concerned look the other way.

These mobile phones were available at Hall Road, Wahdat Road, Model Town, Shalimar Link Road, Hafeez Center, Township and many other mobile markets whereas such phones are also being sold online on different websites, including OLX.

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