Smuggling cash and jewellery can now land you in jail for up to 14 years in Pakistan and carry a fine of up to ten times the items.
The tax laws have been changed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), through a presidential ordinance. It is imposing new penalties on the smuggling of cash, gold and goods. Prior to this, the only punishment was confiscation unless there was a conviction and a court rules separately.
The penalties on carrying cash exceeding the permissible $10,000 and of gold over 15 tolas will be considered smuggling and the carrier shall be liable to fines and even a jail time subject to the conviction, depending on the volume of smuggled items.
An amount between $10,000 and $20,000 shall be confiscated without any additional fines. Anyone carrying cash between $20,000 and $50,000 will be penalised to a maximum of three times the value of the currency in addition to jail time.
The new system has six slabs. The lowest slab is smuggling cash up to $20,000 which will be liable to confiscation without a fine. The highest slab states that cash beyond $200,000 (well over Rs30 million as of now) can land the smuggler, upon conviction, in jail for at least five years with a maximum sentence of 14 years.
The amendment is called “Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019.” It was made to meet conditions from the Financial Action Task Force to tackle smuggling and other financial crimes from Pakistani soil.