By Aung Ye Ko
Mobile phone smuggling is on the rise and contraband worth around Ks3 billion has been confiscated in the last three years, according to the Prevention and Control of Illegal Trade Central Committee.
There were many cases of smuggling across borders or bypassing the customs at Yangon International Airport by using dummy products, it reported.
“Nowadays there are a lot of mobile phones being smuggled. That is why we are increasing our teams,” said a committee member.
There have been 76 cases where mobiles phones have been confiscated, resulting in 46,473 tonnes of seizures over the last three years, the committee said. Phones make up 7 per cent of goods seized.
Mobile inspection team, set up in 2012 to combat illegal trade, have seen over 1,000 cases and operated in areas such as Muse, Tachileik, Kyaingtone, Tamu, Mandalay and Yangon.
In the 2013-14 financial year, contraband worth over Ks9 billion was reportedly confiscated. The following year saw a sharp rise in cases with goods worth over Ks20 billion caught, according to committee.
Around Ks4 billion of precious stones and minerals, beer and other alcoholic drinks and banned items, including forestry products, have been caught over the years.