Some 8 trillion rials (about $650 million) worth of smuggled goods have been seized in Iran during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-December 20, 2012), ISNA quoted Deputy Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying.
The figure was 10 percent higher compared with the same period in the preceding year, he added.
The smuggled goods included around 163 million items, he noted.
On October 24, 2012, Iranian Customs Administration Director Abbas Memarnejad said that smuggling worth some 7 trillion rials (about $570 million) has been registered in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year.
Around 12,000 cases of smuggling have been registered at customs nationwide, he added.
The smuggling is not confined to fuels, he said, adding that it also includes home appliance and foreign currency.
Last year, Memarnejad announced that 20 million cell phones should be annually supplied to the domestic market via import, however, smuggled cell phones accounted for over 95 percent of cell phones in the market in the Iranian year 1389, which ended in March 2011.
The irregular importation of some unnecessary goods has damaged the national economy, Anti-Drug Headquarters Secretary General Fada-Hossein Maleki said. “Imports have increased by 12 percent in weight but declined by 16 percent in value. This issue shows that unnecessary goods have been imported in large scale,” he noted.
On October 5, 2012, MP Alireza Monadi-Sepidan told the Fars News Agency that imports should be regulated and illegal imports of up to $30 billion, which have dented the domestic production, should be curbed.
According to General Inspection Organization’s director Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the smuggled goods into the country amounted to around $20 billion in the Iranian year which ended in March 2011. The figure declined by $6 billion in the year to March 2012.
Source: Tehran Times