Customs unfolds bid to clear mobile phones on passengers’ stolen information

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs has unfolded a bid to steal the data of air travelers for the purpose of mobile phone registration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

According to the details the customs staff posted Jinnah International Airport (JIAP), Karachi detained a person, who was fraudulently obtained data of air travelers including passport numbers for clearing mobile phones at customs stage and for clearing PTA restriction.

As per regulations only PTA certified mobile phones are allowed to have active connection in Pakistan. In this regard passengers arriving from abroad are allowed to clear one mobile phone without payment of duty and taxes. However, more than one phone will attract levy.

Details revealed that customs authorities recovered around 63 mobile phones from a passenger namely Muhammad Umar arriving from an international flight.

The accused passenger entered details of passengers into the PTA system to get cleared the mobile phones without duty and taxes. The accused passenger managed to get clearance from the PTA for those 63 mobile phones.

This was confirmed by Muhammad Faisal, Deputy Collector of Pakistan Custom.

The customs official said that the authorities had lodged an FIR against the accused for smuggling cell phones and stealing information of passengers.

Faisal said that the accused had indulged in clearing mobile phones by entering details of passengers including CNICs, flight number and passport numbers etc.

The accused in his statement said that many travel agencies were involved in this scam.

The customs official said that PTA had been requested to introduce bio-metric system for the clearance of mobile phones.

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