KARACHI: Collectorate of Customs Preventive Collector Saquif Saeed visited Port Qasim and inspected gates and baggage area. He also held meetings with the officers. He said that Pakistan Customs has limited resources to check smuggling of goods all across the country’s borders.
During his visit, Collector Saquif Saeed directed to use available resources to enhance vigilance and monitoring in port area. He directed that any unlawful act should be dealt as per law and with iron hand.
Earlier, on October 18, 2020, Anti-Smuggling Organisation conducted two search operations in the Defence neighbourhood and seized a large number of exotic birds declared endangered species under the International Convention on Illegal Trade on Endangered Species.
The raids were conducted after a tip-off was received that unscrupulous persons involved in the illegal trade of smuggled birds at a residential property, and the birds were also being exported illegally to foreign countries. In view of the significance of the information, clandestine surveillance was mounted, which confirmed this information.
Based on this initial spadework, an operation was conceived under which two teams headed by senior officers were constituted to conduct search operations in late hours. The search operations resulted in the recovery of 75 falcons and houbara bustards.
The value of these birds in international market is over Rs200 million. An FIR has been lodged and an investigation is underway.
Pakistan is signatory to various international conventions regarding the protection of wildlife. The seized birds are protected under the local law and the International Convention on Illegal Trade on Endangered Species.
The Pakistan Customs has planned to release these birds to their natural habitat after the completion of due legal formalities. The civil society will also be invited to participate in this rehabilitation exercise.