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Customs foil bid to smuggle iPhones worth Rs130mn at Karachi airport

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs successfully intercepted an attempt to smuggle a cache of valuable iPhone sets worth approximately Rs130 million at Jinnah Terminal, Karachi Airport, according to a report.
Deputy Director of Customs Intelligence, Inam Wazir, revealed that acting on a tip-off, customs officials promptly thwarted the smuggling operation involving 168 precious iPhone sets. These iPhones were seized from passengers arriving in Karachi on an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah.
Typically, inbound travelers using the green channel are not subject to thorough checks by airport officials, provided they have no dutiable items in their possession. However, in this case, passengers who purportedly obtained clearance through the green channel were attempting to evade customs scrutiny.
Authorities, who had received advance information about the smuggling attempt, swiftly took action, arresting the individuals and recovering the high-value iPhone sets.
The arrested passengers are believed to be part of an organised smuggling network, and investigations into their activities are now underway.
This incident follows a similar interception earlier in the week when Pakistan Customs officials at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport successfully thwarted an attempt to smuggle iPhones worth millions into the country.
In that case, three individuals were apprehended, thanks to a prior tip-off. It was revealed that these individuals, returning from Umrah pilgrimage, were the intended carriers of the smuggled iPhones. Security at the airport was heightened, leading to their capture and the seizure of the contraband.
Authorities disclosed that organised smuggling networks often exploit individuals by convincing them to carry iPhones with promises of discounted airfare and financial incentives. The seized iPhones included models such as the iPhone 15 Pro Max and 14 Pro Max.
In a separate operation, Customs officials had previously seized contraband valued at Rs61.8 million at Jinnah International Airport, taking four passengers into custody. The consignment had been brought in from Dubai, UAE, highlighting the ongoing efforts by Pakistani authorities to combat smuggling and illegal trade activities at the nation’s airports.