KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued notice to Chief Collector Appraisement South Suraiya Ahmed Butt and collectors in an inquiry against officials/officers of Customs Department and others regarding illegal import of around 930 containers of electronics and grey fabrics in the garb of second hand clothing, causing loss to national exchequer.
Sources said NAB issued notice to Chief Collector Appraisement South Suraiya Ahmed Butt and collectors under section 9A and section 10 of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 and schedule thereto.
Sources said NAB requested the Chief Collector to depute an officer well conversant with the subject matter to appear before the Combined Investigation Team (CIT) headed by CO-C on 26 September 2019 at 11am at NAB Karachi, Old Balochistan House, Clifton Block 2, Near Ziaduddin Hospital Karachi along with attested copies of following documents:
- All import data of enclosed list along with import documents uploaded at the time of clearance of the goods by the importer/clearing agent including EIF Form hard copy with complete information feed in the system by the respective banks.
- Import GD tracking EDI information of each GDs, including container scanned views taken by the terminal operator in the presence of customs staff.
- Complete information pertaining to all GDs
- Any other information including container tracking and container seal information in the light of BL and Physical Seal verified by the terminal operator
Sources said NAB, in the same case, also issued notices to Collector of Customs MCC Appraisement East, Collector of Customs MCC Appraisement West, Collector of Customs MCC Port Qasim, Secretary (Enforcement and Coordination) FBR Islamabad Abbas Ali Babar and Chief (IPMU-HRM) FBR Islamabad.
Sources told Customs Today that the NAB earlier examined Appraising Officer Appraisement East Azhar Abbas and Appraising Officer Appraisement East Aamir Hussain and issued call-up notices to Appraising Officer Appraisement East Ghullam Asghar Mirrani, Principal Appraiser Appraisement East Abdul Qayyoum and Appraising Officer Appraisement East Khurram Rafique for 24 September, 25 September and 27 September respectively.
Chairman NAB Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal directed the officers of the watchdog to speed up the process of accountability. He has also directed them to eradicate corruption from different government departments including Customs, to stop revenue leakages and loss to the national exchequer.
Sources further told that in the similar case the NAB took custody of accused Muhammad Idrees son of Yousuf bearing CNIC # 42301-6816256-9, Muhammad Ali son of Muhammad Idrees bearing CNIC # 42301-7975350-0 and Imran Khan son of Saif-ur-Rehman bearing CNIC # 42201-6884666-7.
According to the details, the high value and high tariff goods were being cleared from Appraisement East in the garb of used clothing. Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) of MCC Preventive Karachi under the leadership and directions of the Chief Collector(Enforcement) Wasif Ali Memon and the Collector, Preventive had detected the case. Aslam was arrested after an already arrested accused Imran Khan shared valuable information with the ASO team.
Sources said around 930 containers of electronics and grey fabrics were cleared in the garb of used clothing. After that Appraisement East lodged an FIR pertaining to a container, which already was stopped by ASO Preventive. Collector Appraisement East Nadeem Memon is apparently known for his efforts to eradicate smuggling through his collectorate. He has already directed the staff to properly examine every imported consignment of used clothing to stop revenue leakages. His efforts lead to detection and registration of FIR No 11/2019- R&D (East) and FIR No 12/2019- R&D (East) against M/s Al-Aswed Associates and others for importing polyester plane pile fabric in rolls and velvet prayer mats instead of declared used clothing.
Collector Nadeem Memon
MCC Appraisement West Collector Wajid Ali has also put in lot of his efforts while taking effective steps to curtail green and yellow channel smuggling. He recently even busted a gang involved in replacing already confiscated/seized containers of restricted/prohibited goods with identical containers and getting delivery of seized goods against GDs of low value goods such as used clothing.
Collector Wajid Ali
Port Qasim Collector Mumtaz Khoso has been performing exceptionally well. While refusing to succumb to favour and pressure, Khoso even hard pressed CEO of QICT Pakistan Ltd. Junaid Zameer to replace scanners to ensure proper scanning of the containers. The cost of the required good quality scanner is around Rs 550 Million which the port terminal is trying to save while also making merry by associating in the green and yellow channel mega scams. In fact, it is surprising that QICT Pakistan Ltd. has been illegally charging scanner fees for the import consignments over the years while it is known to the senior customs officials that proper scanning cannot take place with such faulty scanners. The previous scanners were not in working condition which was helping smuggling through green and yellow channels. The Collector Port Qasim is the person who recommends issuance of license to the port terminal QICT and looking at the mega scams of QICT Pakistan Ltd. and the good reputation of the present collector it is well expected that he will henceforth not recommend renewal of the licence.
Collector Mumtaz Khoso
Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement South Suraiya Ahmed Butt also apparently enjoys good reputation and has also been working effectively to curb the green and yellow channels smuggling including the faulty scanners at the Port Qasim terminal. She already had directed all the officials to stop illegal import of electronics and grey fabrics in the garb of used clothing. Business community says that it is high time that the Chief collector including her team of collectors act against QICT port terminal for the faulty scanners and other scams while they should also identify and put responsibility on some of their own junior staff who are minting money at the cost of the bleeding national exchequer. Some of the few corrupt elements within the customs department is spoiling the name of the entire department which must ring bells for the seniors to act fast on the issues. If the seniors in the customs department delay action then NAB under the leadership of Chairman Justice (Retd.) Javed Iqbal is already known for prompt and meaningful action.