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The Mumbai unit of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized consignments of 3,646 latest models of iPhones, suspected to be smuggled into the country from Hong Kong, at the Air Cargo Complex (ACC) at the international airport in Mumbai.  

The smuggled consignments contained 2,245 handsets of iPhone 13 Pro, 1,401 handsets of iPhone 13 Pro Max, 12 handsets of Google Pixel 6 pro and one Apple Smart Watch, collectively valued at 42.86 crore.

As per the official release, "the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) inspected two consignments on November 26. These consignments had arrived from Hong Kong, at Air Cargo Complex (ACC) to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. In the import documents, the goods were declared as memory cards." 

In the import documents accompanying these two consignments, the goods were declared as "memory cards." However, their physical examination on Friday revealed that the consignments actually contained 2,245 handsets of iPhone 13 Pro, 1,401 handsets of iPhone 13 Pro Max, 12 handsets of Google Pixel 6 pro and one Apple Smart Watch. The smuggled items collectively were valued at 42.86 crore. The mobile phones and the Apple smart watch were not declared in the imported goods under the Customs Act. The declared value of these goods was only 80 lakh. 

iPhone 13 models went for sale in India from September 2021 onwards, with a base price of 70,000, and some of the higher-end models costing up to 1,80,000. Currently, the import of mobile phones into India attracts effective Customs Duty of around 44%.

The government official release stated that the detection of attempted smuggling of these high-end phones of the latest models in such large numbers shows how quickly the smugglers establish their smuggling networks for the latest products, like iPhone 13, an official release said. 

"This detection has helped unearth a serious import fraud having substantial revenue implications," it added. 

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