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DG NAB Farooq Naser Awan takes on mega corruption cases in Customs

DG NAB Farooq Naser Awan takes on mega corruption cases in Customs

Customs Today played crucial role to expose these culprits through its investigative reports on misuse of yellow and green channel facilities at Karachi ports

 

KARACHI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi under supervision of DG Brig. (R) Farooq Naser Awan has geared up its operations against the corrupt and has been performing exceptionally well. Under the dynamic vision and guidance of Hon’ble Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal, NAB Karachi has now actively taken up mega corruption cases in Customs Department to stop revenue leakage and huge losses to the national exchequer.

NAB has recently taken notice of the mega corruption though yellow and green channel facilities at Karachi ports. NAB has taken action in cases of tax evasion through mis-declarations and taken custody of clearing agents Muhammad Idress s/o Yousaf, Muhammad Ali s/o Muhammad Idrees and Imran Khan s/o Saifur Rahman from Central Jail Karachi. These suspects were in the custody of the customs court for evading taxes and duties to the tune of Rs74,036,216.

Now NAB Karachi has also decided to eradicate menace of corruption from the Customs Department. Customs Today has been extensively reporting the green and yellow channel abuse in the country, after which the NAB came into action and decided to tighten the noose around green and yellow channel smugglers. In M/s Khurram Steel tax evasion case, NAB Court just approved plea bargain of clearing agent Muhammad Waseem son of Nasir Ahmed for Rs 10 million and disqualified him for a period of 10 years. He was booked in a case of M/s Khurram Steel Mills and evaded duty and taxes to the tune of Rs 9,347,275. FIR No PQ-228/DCI/Khurram Steel/2016 dated 11/12/2016 was registered by directorate general of intelligence and investigation-FBR (Customs Enforcement) Karachi against the accused, in violation of sections 2 (s) (ii) 16, 32 (1) & (2) 32-A, 81, 82 punishable under section 156 (1) (8) (9) (14) (14-A) & 156 of the Customs Act, 1969. Earlier, Khurram Iqbal, the main accused in the case and owner of M/s Khurram Steel, was dramatically tracked and arrested while hiding in a 5 star hotel at Bhurban. NAB Karachi successfully recovered the money by entering into a plea bargain of Rs. 50 Million with the accused.

In another case of mega mis-declaration scam, the Customs Court granted pre-arrest bail to suspect Umair Nawaz son of Rab Nawaz, director of M/s Facilities Shipping Agency. Investigation officer submitted that above-mentioned suspect and others namely Nasir Barkat Ali Junior Supervisor KICTL West Wharf, Waleed Ali checker of M/s KICTL West Wharf, Ibrahim security desk officer of KICTL West Wharf Karachi and Muhammad Saleem checker of M/s KICTL West Wharf Karachi are found in illegal delivery of seized/confiscated betel nuts and other high value banned items by way of substitution/swapping of consignments through tampering of container numbers, seals, record, etc. and evaded duty and taxes to the tune of Rs76.65 million.

NAB, Karachi under the dynamic leadership of DG NAB Brig (r) Farooq Nasar has arrested Iqbal Z. Ahmed, Chairman and co-founder of Associate Group, CEO M/s JJVL and M/s Lub Gas (Pvt) Ltd and others, in a mega money laundering case. Sources said Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal issued arrest warrant of the accused on 3 September 2019 and DG NAB Karachi Brig (R) Farooq Naser Awan was vigorously following the case. It is alleged that Iqbal Z. Ahmed has laundered more than Rs 100 billions personally and as well as through his more than 6 companies. The accused was arrested from Lahore on 4 September and shifted to NAB Karachi after getting three days transit remand from Accountability Court Lahore. On 6 September he was produced before the court where the court granted his physical remand till 18 September for interrogation/investigation. During the course of last remand substantiate progress was made. The NAB IO based his arguments for further remand on the ground that more than seventy bank accounts, three offshore companies and five properties purchased in New York, UK and Dubai have also been indentified which have been cleared through amnesty scheme of the government. Various other LPG companies associated with the accused have been identified for which bank record has been summoned to be confronted to accused. The court ordered that the material placed on record shows that allegation against accused Iqbal Z. Ahmed are well founded hence his further physical remand for 14 days till 1-10-2019 is granted.

In another case, business community has asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action in another mega mis-declaration scam by M/s Al-Aswed Associates and M/s Facilities Shipping Agency with active connivance of Sohail Shams of M/s United Marine Agencies (UMA), an agent of shipping line KMTC. Business community also sought arrest of UMA CEO Sohail Shams and high-ups of UMA, shipping agent of KMTC as they are alleged to be directly involved in this huge scam of clearing 930 consignments through mis-declarations, causing heavy loss to the national exchequer. Customs Today played crucial role to expose these culprits through its investigative reports on misuse of yellow and green channel facilities at Karachi ports.

Sources told in a similar case of mis-declaration, Customs Court granted pre-arrest interim bail to suspect Umair Nawaz son of Rab Nawaz, director of M/s Facilities Shipping Agency, but bigwigs like Sohail Shams and other senior officials of UMA, shipping agent of KMTC did not care to even take any bail although UMA has been named in multiple FIRs of the mega scam. They are openly supporting the following accused persons and companies to mis-declare goods and evade government’s legitimate revenue.

According to details, Collectorate of Appraisement East led by Collector Nadeem Memon registered two FIRs against M/s Al-Aswed Associates and others who attempted to clear restricted goods through mis-declaration with active connivance of Sohail Shams of M/s United Marine Agencies (UMA), an agent of shipping line KMTC.

Preliminary inquiry revealed that M/s United Marine Agencies of Sohail Shams filed Import General Manifest (IGM) of this consignment with incorrect information and committed a fraud by issuing false bill of lading by mentioning incorrect description of the goods.

Customs Today has been extensively reporting about blackmailing of UMA, shipping agent of KMTC and demanding additional demurrage and detention charges from importers. Even importers filed various applications to lodge FIRs against these shipping lines and their agents including CEO of United Marine Agencies Sohail Shams for demanding additional demurrage and detention charges from importers.

Now business community once against appealed to the NAB to take action against Sohail Shams of UMA, shipping agent of KMTC and their top management and arrest them to stop huge loss to the national exchequer and recover the tens of billions of rupees looted.

DG NAB Brig. (R) Farooq Naser Awan took charge of Karachi Bureau in Oct 2018. During this period NAB Karachi has been making its disposal of cases with more vigour and competence. NAB Karachi received and disposed over 9859 Complaints which is the largest and completed 242 CVs. Similarly 105 Inquiries and 47 Investigations were completed and 33 References were filed in Accountability Courts. NAB Karachi made direct and indirect recoveries of Rs 1599.87 million (including recoveries in shape of recovery of state land). During this period NAB Karachi has arrested 125 accused persons. NAB Karachi has placed 41 accused persons on Exit Control List (ECL).