Customs Intelligence has seized 262 mobile phone sets from stores across the capital and arrested nine people for manufacturing fake phones.
They took these phones from shops at Bashundhara Shopping Complex in Karwanbazar, Mohakhali, Gulshan and Uttara’s North Tower market.
According to an official press release, the phones have a total worth of Tk2.9 crore.
Joint teams of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted drives in three separate locations in the city on Saturday.
The officials seized 121 iPhones, 125 HTC sets, 15 LG sets and one Apple Watch in their raids.
According to the CIID release, they also uncovered a hidden factory in a home in Mohakhali DOHS area and seized machinery and illegal parts that were being used to make fake iPhones.
Seven employees from TJ Group’s showroom in Mohakhali and two from Talukdar Mobile Link located in Uttara North Tower were arrested after being involved in making fake iPhones.
Dr Md Shahidul Islam, director general of CIID said the seized phones had been brought into the country without paying necessary taxes and duties.
A team led by Habibur Rahman, assistant director of CIID, seized 36 iPhones and other mobile accessories from a home in Mohakhali DOHS area. The officials say the place was being used for mobile phone assembly for the last three months.
CIID Deputy Director Payel Pasha said they carried out the drive following a tip-off that duplicate iPhones were being made here and sold to customers as fresh sets.
“‘We detained seven people from the factory for interrogation,’” he added.
Another team led by Additional Director General (ADG) Kazi Muhammad Ziauddin seized 121 iPhones in a drive at Bashundhara Shopping Complex in Panthapath.
“The businessman could not show the papers for their imported iPhones. That is why we seized those specific phones,” said ADG Ziauddin.
He added that these illegal phone sets have no records at the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and the government will not allow the sale of any unauthorized mobile phone sets in Bangladesh market.
The government would lose about Tk30-35 lakh in duty on these phones, said the ADG.
Deputy Director Lutfur Kabir of CIID sized 30 iPhones from a shop in North Tower in Uttara.
CIID Director General Shahidul said legal action will be taken against smugglers who are bringing mobile phones into the country dodging duties, or those selling fake mobile phones.