KARACHI: Prime accused in the clandestine removal/pilferage of transshipment (TP) cargo during transit, Raheem Meerani has been given into the jails custody as the Customs Court did not grant bail after end of remand.

MCC Preventive sources said that investigations into the pilferage of mobile phones out of TP consignments i.e. smuggling has resulted into evidence suggesting involvement of M/s Qmobile into the scam.

MCC Preventive has booked three persons for attempting to clear an imported consignment through maneuvered documents and investigations found that mobile phones were being cleared under single PCT, which were to be pilfered during transit.

It may be mentioned here that higher duties and taxes promote smuggling, so it happened in the case of mobile phones. Regulatory Duty on mobile phones was imposed at the rate of Rs250/piece in 2014. M/s Qmobile approached Sindh High Court and Lahore High Court. Sindh High Court rejected their petition.

Later, in the recent budget, government eliminated regulatory duty and increased the sales tax rate on import of mobile phones. Mobile phone importers including M/s Qmobile opted for pilferage of mobile phones during transit to avoid the sales tax.

Subsequently, it was established Rahim Sultan Ali Meerani in collusion with Zeeshan Yousaf of M/s Digicom attempted to clear the goods through modifying the documents. Role of Haris Siddiqui of M/s Digicom is also found dubious while another person Junaid also surfaced during scrutiny.

It may be mentioned here that two persons including Zeeshan Director of M/s Qmobile and manager Haris are on protective bail, while Meerani has been sent to the jail custody.