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Chinese men protest customs duty on cellphones — by lying on floor at Islamabad airport

The episode, which made for an interesting spectacle, took place after the two Chinese men – Lian Zhehfu and Lei Zhentao — landed in Islamabad from Urumqi via China Southern Airlines flight CZ6007.

After exiting the aircraft, the two men were stopped at a customs counter. Because they were carrying six cellphones, they were made to pay $285 in duties and taxes on four of the handsets.

As per the ‘mobile tax policy’ announced by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, foreign visitors and travellers returning to Pakistan can bring in one handset duty-free; for any additional devices, they must pay the applicable taxes to avail service in the country beyond 30 days.

But after paying the amount, the two Chinese passengers lay on the exit gate of the international arrival lounge to protest the duty they were charged. They took the stance that because they travel to Pakistan several times a year, they should not have to pay the duty each time they bring in more than one cellphone.

The pair ended their protest only after Airport Security Force personnel informed them that their concerns would be forwarded to the relevant ministry.

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