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Court defers verdict in gold smuggling case

Court defers verdict in gold smuggling case

KARACHI: The judgment in a long–drawn gold smuggling case was deferred as the judge of the Special Court of Customs Taxation and Anti-Smuggling was on leave.

The court office has set September 17, 2015 for the pronouncement of the judgment. Earlier on, August 9, 2015, Judge Syed Faiz Rasool Rashdi had reserved the judgment after hearing final arguments from both sides and had set August 29 for pronouncement of the judgement.

According to the prosecution, in February 1996 the Anti-Smuggling Organization of Pakistan Customs had thwarted a bid to smuggle gold into the country. The ASO had caught a boat with 12000 tolas of gold worth estimated at Rs 600 million. Four suspects Hussain, Dawood, Abbas and Muhammad Umer, who were on the boat, were arrested.

Subsequently, the custom authorities had registered a case against the accused persons under the relevant sections of Customs Act 1969. The accused were later released by the Court on bail.

According to the official sources, it is a long-drawn smuggling case in the history of such cases as it suffered inordinate delays because of frequent transfers of investigation officers and prosecutors. Besides, the Court had heard arguments four times and reserved the verdict of judgment two times but the decision could not be announced. Thus, the criminal trial re-opened again