According to news report broke by Customs Today, around three dozen importers evaded taxes and duties of Rs 24 billion between 2005 and 2014 by pilferage and frauds during shipment of the imported goods. The official circles are regarding it as one of the biggest tax evasion scam in the customs history of the country, the details of which show how fraudulent and fallacious methods are invented to commit forgeries and frauds.
According to the report, hundreds of consignments were imported in the name of importers, but the goods were pilfered during their way from Karachi to Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot. Though the scam was unearthed in 2014 by Customs Intelligence, when it raided a godown and found that high-valued goods were being unloaded from containers and low-valued items were being dumped instead, but investigations into this mega scandal are still ongoing and contravention reports against these importers and mastermind are prepared. A first information report had been lodged against the suspects at the time of incident and prosecution started, but was it enough to stop this practice is a question still relevant even today. No one knows how long it will take to nab the suspects behind the incident.
It is the dilemma of this nation that frauds are committed blatantly in cahoots with the black sheep in vital government organizations. The like-minded criminal elements join hands and work as mafia to damage the national economy. The recent incidents of misuse of powers by some officials within the Customs department are not a secret. The officials are free to stop cleared goods in the name of checking and create troubles for importers and exporters. There is no doubt that not all the officials are corrupt, but it is also true that not all the officials are honest. A few corrupt elements defame the whole department.
The policymakers will have to devise a system of check and balance if they want to curb corruption in the country. If there are corrupt elements in the government departments, there are also corrupt elements who are a cause of shame for the business community. There is a need to implement the writ of law without any pressure. This is the only way to streamline affairs in the department.