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Customs Appellate Tribunal rejects appeal in seized mobile phones case

Customs Appellate Tribunal rejects appeal in seized mobile phones case

LAHORE: Customs Appellate Tribunal dismissed the appeal in seized mobile phones, spectacle frames and auto refractory case. Customs Appellate Tribunal upheld Order-in-Original (ONO) in seized mobile phones and waived off the penalty.

The appeal was filed by Lutafur Rehman, a resident of Peshawar against Superintendent of Customs (Traffic), Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore.

As per brief facts of the case, customs staff deputed at International Arrival Hall of Allama Iqbal International Airport, during the clearance of passenger of flight no: TG-345 arrived from Bangkok, intercepted Lutaf-ur-Rehman holding Pakistani passport.

As reported, the customs staff asked the passenger under Section 139 of Customs Act 1969, whether he was carrying anything objectionable in his accompanied baggage to which he replied in negative.

The process of scanning and examination of accompanied baggage led to the recovery of 98 mobile phones valued Rs391,221, evaded duty and taxes of Rs188, 339 and 789 spectacle frames valued Rs169, 503 involving duty and taxes of Rs26,260 and auto material of 15 kilograms worth Rs8056 involving duty and taxes of Rs 4,643.

The said passenger failed to produce documents regarding the lawful import of goods so the goods seized under Section 168(1) of Customs Act 1969.

Adjudication proceeding culminated and order-in-original passed with remarks that goods confiscated may be released after payment of duties and taxes along with 20 percent redemption fine and also imposed Rs 5000 fine on the passenger who aggrieved with the order and filed the appeal before the Collector of Customs (Appeals) that he is not satisfied with ONO and said forum may hear the appellant and passed the fresh order.

After hearing both parties, Collector Customs (Appeal) passed the order-in-appeal to uphold the order regarding confiscation of mobile phones and reduced 20% redemption fines to 10 percent.

Not satisfied with the order, Customs department challenged the order before the Customs Appellate Tribunal on the grounds that order-in-appeal is not according to the law and liable to set aside but respondent denied.

After hearing arguments, Customs Appellate Tribunal upheld the order-in-original in the confiscation of mobiles and waived off the penalty.