Economy, Sci & Tech

12.5m Cell Phones Worth $2.5b Smuggled Annually

12.5m Cell Phones Worth $2.5b Smuggled Annually12.5m Cell Phones Worth $2.5b Smuggled Annually

Each year 12.5 million cell phones are brought into Iran illegally depriving  government coffers $350 million in tax revenues, says a business official.

Hussein Qaravi, chairman of Iran’s Imports Federation, affiliated to Iran Chamber of Commerce, says, “Our assessments show mobile phones smuggled into the country in a year are worth almost $2.5 billion,” Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday. 

“Demand in the market is for nearly 14 million cellphones per year. According to official data, less than 10% of this number enters legally,” Qaravi said.

Criticizing the poor performance of oversight bodies, he added, “This number is huge…These goods cannot be trafficked into the country without being detected by officials.”

Iran’s total annual imports are in the region of $50 billion. It is highly disconcerting to see that smuggled cell phones account for a massive 5% of the nation's total imports about which officials have talked too often but done nothing to stop or punish the smugglers. 

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