FBR to take strict action following a multi-million rupee mobile phone IMEI corruption scandal

PTA has directed FBR to take strict and legal action in the whitewashing of over 10,000 mobile phone IMEI scams.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to take action following a multi-million rupee mobile phone IMEI corruption scandal.

PTA has directed FBR to take strict and legal action in the whitewashing of over 10,000 mobile phone IMEI scams. According to sources, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) wrote a letter to FBR to carry out an investigation as per the law.

FBR takes action against IMEI corruption scandal

The FBR headquarters has directed chief collector North to submit a report on the current matter as soon as possible. In an official document, it was remarked that Customs Collectorate Islamabad has registered FIRs against two importers named ‘Al-Hamd Enterprises’ and ‘Pak-China traders’ in whitewashing IMEIs of over 10,000 mobile phones of well-known brands.

On the other hand, Customs Islamabad higher-ups are unaccountable in proceeding against the six customs officials who allegedly connived with the importers and fraudulently examined, assessed, and released over 100 consignments of branded and expensive mobile phones. This has led to a loss of Rs360 million to the government. A person also filed a complaint before the chief collector of customs in Islamabad, Imran Khan Moham, that certain custom examiners and appraisers of the Islamabad Customs Collectorate had colluded with importers.

The complainant also alleged that after the post-clearance audit department of FBR had caught the scam, they had asked the Islamabad Customs Collectorate to unearth the revenue losses caused. However, the authorities had restricted themselves to audits of only six consignments. In these consignments, they found that the importers had declared 9,946 mobile phones on import documents before the customs, but the examining officers examined only 5,989 mobile phones. This means that they released around 3,957 mobile phones without duty and taxes, whitewashing their IMEI numbers and helping the importers get PTA approvals without paying taxes. The complainant also requested the chief collector to extend the audit of this scam to the last two years in public interest and to file an FIR against those who committed the fraud.

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