PTA has stepped forward to cope up the problem of smuggled phones with the help of DIRBS. This system will surely bring relief for the authorities as well as for the passengers.
It is revealed that almost 44943 customers were stolen to unlock illegal or smuggled phones. These are written facts and figures. These facts and figures are released by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA). All these discussions were made in a sitting of Federal Cabinet with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
There was a presentation and its copy is also available. According to this presentation it is revealed that since the implementation of DIRBS (Device Identification and Registration and Blocking System) almost 45000 international passengers has to suffer from the loss of CNIC, Passport and other travelling documents. Unfortunately their private data is used to unlock the smuggled phones.
According to PTA data over around 986000 mobiles phones were received for registration. Out of these around 656000 were registered under FBR baggage rule exemption with no tax while around 33000 mobile phones were registered under the duty paid category.
It is also confirmed that data of 44943 passengers was lost and this data is used in unlocking the mobile phones.
First of all on May 21, 2019 the data of almost 750 cases was sent by PTA to FBR and FIA for further investigation. On May 31, 2019 data of almost 3000 cases was sent by PTA. Investigation resulted in the form of arrest of travel agent from Karachi.
From 16 June 2019 further 40,911 cases were sent to the authorities. Investigation is under process and 282 miscellaneous cases are also reported. All are under process and making a total of 44943 cases.
Airports share travelers data with 12 institutions these included Bureau of Immigration, FBR, NADRA, Directorate of Immigration and Passport, ISI, ISI Headquarter, MI, FIA, Ministry of Interior, IB, Punjab Police CTD, Punjab Police Special Branch, and Special Security Division.
To protect the passengers from stolen and theft of personal data and other luggage, PTA has recommended biometric verification. The dialogue is under process. Noteworthy PTA has also suggested the withdrawal of baggage rule that is also under consideration.
The efforts of PTA in collaboration with FBR are really very appreciable. PTA has also proposed reductionist duty charges of imported mobiles. In return to this proposal FBR has reduced the duty taxes up to 45% on imported mobile phones. This is really very important and supportive step.