Suspected mobile smuggler arrested for manhandling customs official


ISLAMABAD: Airport authorities on Monday arrested a suspected mobile smuggler after he manhandled a customs official when caught red-handed at the New Islamabad International Airport.

A CCTV footage of the incident, obtained by local media, shows that authorities found multiple cellphones during checking of a passenger’s luggage which he was trying to ‘smuggle’ in the country.

Waqas had arrived in Islamabad on an international airline. Upon finding the contraband, he tried to flee but the customs officials managed to grab him, however, the suspect tore an officer’s uniform in the scene.

Authorities have now registered a case against the suspect with an investigation underway.

Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar had earlier announced that those travelling to Pakistan will be allowed to bring in only one cellphone per year free of customs duty as per the personal baggage rules.

While a maximum of five smartphones can be brought under the new regulations in a year. However, customs duty will have to be paid on the extra four handsets to require service in Pakistan beyond 30 days.

On November 24, the federal minister had written on the microblogging website, Twitter, saying: “The cabinet has decided that mobile phones sold after 1st December 2018 that are not custom duty paid (i.e. smuggled) will be deactivated by PTA after a lapse of 30 days.”