DRI busts iPhone smuggling Racket

Published on : 08:48 PM Nov 28, 2021

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has caught a stockpile of iPhones being smuggled into the country.

Mumbai: The Mumbai unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted an Apple iphone smuggling racket and has seized over 3,600 handsets of the recently launched iphone 13 series. The items were imported as ‘memory chips’ to evade customs duty.

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"After developing precise intelligence, officers of DRI inspected two consignments on Friday. These consignments had arrived from Hong Kong, at the Air Cargo Complex (ACC), Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. In the import documents, the goods were declared as “memory cards”. Physical examination, however, revealed that the consignments actually contained-iPhone 13 Pro-2,245, iPhone 13 Pro Max-1,401, Google Pixel 6 pro-12 and Apple Smart Watch-1,” the agency said in its statement.

Thus, a total of 3,646 (three thousand six hundred and forty-six) iPhone-13 mobile phones were found in the intercepted consignments. The above mentioned mobile phones and apple smart watch, not having been declared, were seized under the Customs Act, 1962. The total value of the seized goods is around Rs. 42.86 crore, while the declared value of the goods was only Rs. 80 lakh. Advertisement

iPhone 13 models went for sale in India from September 2021 onwards, with a base price of Rs. 70,000/-, and some of the higher-end models costing up to Rs. 1,80,000/-. Import of mobile phones into India attracts effective Customs Duty of around 44%.

The detection of attempted smuggling of these high-end phones of latest models in such large numbers shows how quickly the smugglers establish their smuggling networks for the latest products, like iPhone 13. This detection has helped unearth a serious import fraud, reinforcing DRI’s ability to detect and combat unique and sophisticated methods of smuggling, having substantial revenue implications. As the guardians of the nation’s economic frontiers, DRI remains steadfast to combat smuggling.

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