Mega mobile smuggling scam: M/s Digicom pays Rs3.0 billion into the national exchequer

KARACHI: M/s Digicom Trading (Qmobile) has deposited Rs3.0 billion into the government exchequer as advance deposit against the probable fine/penalty and duty taxes as the company is facing several cases for smuggling mobile phones and tablet PCs through mis-declaration abusing green channel facility.

Following the payment of advance deposit, the NTN of M/s Digicom Trading has been unblocked. M/s Digicom had also filed six constitutional petitions against the Customs for blocking their NTN, which have also been withdrawn.

On the information of Dr. Iftikhar Collector MCC Preventive, Additional Collector Amir Theim and Deputy Collector Mohammad Faisal detected this mega scam wherein M/s Digicom Trading was clearing mobile phones in the garb of LED lights causing huge loss to the national economy.

An official said it was due to the utter failure of Inland Revenue Service (IRS) in documenting the retailers and wholesalers in the country, which had enabled easy distribution and sale of smuggled goods. the official said had IRS maintained a record and data of inventories of retailers and wholesalers, disposing of smuggled goods would be quite difficult and easily detectable.

CEO of M/s Digicom Zeeshan Akhtar s/o Mian Pervez Akhtar and Zeeshan Yousaf Director of M/s Digicom are absconding and have fled from the country while other arrested accused Babar Sultan and Mohammad Ammad both employees of M/s Digicom have been granted bail by the Customs Court.

In the first case, on the information of Collector Dr. Iftikhar of MCC Preventive, Deputy Collector Mohammad Faisal and ASO team intercepted one container of the four-container consignment in Saddar Karachi, which was cleared by declaring the same as LED lights. However, the goods were found to be assorted mobile phones and Amazon Tablets.

After that, Customs Intelligence & Investigation Karachi detected similar cases and recovered huge quantity of mobile phones/tablets from various bungalows in Karachi, which had been cleared through the green channel in garb of low value and low tariff goods. Moreover, consignments of M/s Digicom were also seized in other cities also.

The risk management system of Customs has failed completely as high-value and high-tariff goods are largely being cleared under the garb of low-value and low-tariff goods. Moreover, the recently imposed regulatory duty is also not being levied on several consignments passing through the green channel. On the other hand, concessionary regime is grossly being misused by companies having green channel facility and yet the examination at green channel is further reduced.

MCC Preventive and Directorate of Customs Intelligence & Investigation have submitted the Interim Challans before the Customs Court, where the criminal proceedings against M/s Digicom would continue while Customs Adjudication would soon issue its order regarding confiscated goods.

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