Smuggled Qmobile phones worth Rs662 million seized, CEO of M/s Digicom absconds to Dubai

KARACHI: Directorate of Customs Intelligence & Investigation (I&I) has lodged an FIR against the directors of M/s Digicom Trading Pvt Ltd (Qmobile) while one official was arrested as the company cleared mobile phones declaring the same as LED lights through green channel. Over 78,000 smuggled phones worth Rs662 million were also recovered.

Information was received through Director Samina Wajid that huge quantity of smuggled mobile phone sets cleared in the garb of LED lights (bulbs), was secreted in the posh locality of DHA, Karachi for disposal in the local markets. It was further disclosed by the source that Ws. Digicom Trading (Pvt) Ltd., Karachi (NTN-3412455), the sole distributors of Qmobiles in Pakistan, were involved in smuggling of huge quantities of Q mobiles under the cover of LED lights (bulbs), which are normally cleared through Green Channel of Customs Computerized System.

On the information 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 62,900 sets of assorted mobile phones and 531 Amazon Tablets.

These smuggled goods were to be delivered to an office bearer of the market association. It may be mentioned here that local mobile markets particularly in Saddar area are flooded with smuggled goods worth hundreds of millions.

In order to verify veracity of information and to locate the goods pertaining to remaining three containers, a team of staff of the Directorate was constituted to locate the dumping place where smuggled goods were reportedly secreted/stored.

On the instructions of Director I&I Karachi Samina Wajid, Additional Director Ali Zaman Gardezi, Deputy Director Shah Faisal, Principal Appraiser Waqar Qureshi, Appraising Officer Fakhar Shah, Intelligence Officers Saud, Mohammad Sadiq, Jahanzeb, Rasheed Alam and Sanam Aziz and ASO team led by Superintendent Akmal Hashmi utilized all available resources and investigated the case at length and collected data as well as the information.

After hectic efforts the staff of Directorate located the suspected residential premises at Khayaban-e-Rahat, DHA Karachi. Inquiries revealed that the residential premiseswas occupied as tenant by accused Zeeshan Yousuf, a Director of M/s. Digicom Trading Pvt Ltd. Since there was strong apprehension that smuggled goods might be shifted/removed from aforesaid premises till a search warrant is procured from the court of law, due to urgency the search of premises was carried out by the Directorate staff in the presence of Deputy Director, Intelligence & Investigation after fulfillment of necessary legal requirements.

The search resulted into recovery of huge quantities of Qmobiles phones secreted in four different rooms of the bungalow. 3,908 cartons containing 78,160 sets of foreign origin mobile phones of assorted models in original packing were recovered during search.

The tentative value of the seized goods come to Rs662 million and leviable duty/taxes are calculated to be Rs160 million approximately. FIR has been lodged against Zeeshan Akhtar CEO of M/s Digicom, Zeeshan Yousuf, Babar Sultan employees of M/s Digicom, who have absconded to Dubai. While Mohammad Ammad is arrested and 7-day remand has been obtained.

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.

Sources said Customs should keep an strict vigil on the consignments clearing through the green channel in the next 10 days and recoveries to the tune of billions of rupees could be created.

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