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Customs I&I reluctant to take action against mighty fabric importers

Customs I&I reluctant to take action against mighty fabric importers

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I)-FBR, Karachi is reluctant to take any legal action against those importers whose fabric consignments was confiscated by the team of Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) during a raid at Allahwala Market near Lucknow Plaza, Customs Today has learnt.

The sources informed Customs Today on Friday, “Political involvement in the case restricts the authorities of Customs Intelligence to act against the importers as per the law and its procedures.”  The sources further disclosed this scribe that the six confiscated trucks and the seized fabric have been handed over to the importers. However, the officer in Directorate General of Customs Intelligence informed that the seized fabric has been shifted to the warehouse of Customs I&I, located in Rasheedabad. The officers in Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation-FBR Regional Office remain tight lipped and are not ready to comment over the progress of the case.

It is pertinent to mention here that a team of ASO, Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I), FBR Karachi in a joint raid with Pakistan Rangers at Lucknow Plaza located near Allahwala Market on 6 Sept, 2014 seized millions of worth smuggled imported fabric and arrested an accused from the spot. The seized trucks had imported fabric of India, China and Korea.

Aerial firing and violent incidents were also reported on the occasion in which a driver and some other ASO staffers were injured by the attack of market persons. Later on, the Directorate General of Customs I&I had given the impression that the FIR would be lodged against the importers, as the seized fabric consignments were reportedly smuggled through Transit Trade and the importers did not have the legal documents of all the seized fabric consignments.

After passage of a week or so, the authorities concerned ruled out the possibility of registering any FIR against the importers and remain on making seizure report of the case. However, no legal action has been taken as yet against the importers. The estimated cost of the seized consignments of imported fabric was around Rs 40million.  The sources further revealed that two SPs namely Annam Hammed and Zara Bin Zama of MCC-Preventive (ASO) have been suspended by authorities concerned and this action is linked with the said case. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has some findings that these two SPs were allegedly involved in allowing the smuggled goods of Transit Trade into the City.