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Customs Port Qasim busts dual use precursor Acetic Anhydride worth $1.5m

Customs Port Qasim busts dual use precursor Acetic Anhydride worth $1.5m

KARACHI: The  Customs Collectorate Appraisement Port Muhammad Bin Qasim (PQA) seizes 15,520 liter of dual use precursor Acetic Anhydride, a main ingredient for preparing narcotics substances, especially heroin.

According to the details, during the discreet monitoring of the import data, a suspicious consignment comprising a container 1×20 said to contain item having a vague description of “ summer fluid” shipped from Poland bearing address of Peshawar based consignee was identified.

The Bill of Lading of the shipment also showed a non-existent PCT Code and the address was very general. Owing to the suspicious declarations, the container was blocked on 24.01.2018 in the system by R&D Section. Since no one turned up for clearance, physical examination of the consignment was carried out on 31.01.2018 in the presence of representatives of terminal operators and independent surveyors, which led to the recovery of a huge quantity of dual use precursor “15,520 liter Acetic Anhydride” stuffed in more than 700 plastic cans, valued at $1.5 million.

Abdul Rashid Sheikh, Chief Collector Appraisement- South Karachi along with other senior officers of the Collectorate inspected the subject consignment. Representative samples were drawn from the plastic cans in his presence and were tested with the help of First Defender Kit to verify the contents which confirmed that the detected item was Acetic Anhydride. The chief collector also issued instructions to apply modern it tools for tracking container trail and latest forensic techniques to apprehend the culprits.

Acetic Anhydride is importable only by authorized industrial consumers and the impugned consignment has been imported in violation of the Import Policy Order-2016. Accordingly, the consignment has been seized under the applicable Laws. The seized Acetic Anhydride is a highly sensitive dual use chemical which is a main ingredient for preparing Narcotics substances especially heroine and is also used in making highly explosive devices.

The seizure of huge quantity of Acetic Anhydride is unprecedented in Collectorate’s history and it shows the commitment and resolve of the Pakistan Customs to safeguard society from pilferage of dangerous contraband. The consignment had been slipped from Poland with description “Summer Fluid” which is used as main ingredient for manufacture of shampoos. Port Qasim is further investigating the case from all possible aspects to dig out further details.