KARACHI: The economy of the country has borne a revenue loss of Rs20 billion due to smuggling of petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) products.
This was revealed by Chief Collector Enforcement (South) Muhammad Yahya while addressing a press conference at Customs House, Karachi.
Muhammad Yahya said that the Enforcement is going towards a right direction and a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) has been formed through which the deployment of the officials could be possible at RCD Highway, Superhighway and National Highway to keep a strict vigilance on passing containers.
“A meeting of the officials concerned of all coordinated agencies is being held fortnightly with a view to review the performance of the continued operations, adding that two meetings have already been done in this regard,” he said.
Chief Collector Enforcement Muhammad Yahya informed the media that the Customs Enforcement (South Region) has seized smuggling goods including vehicles, diesel, cloth, blankets, Gutka, foreign currency, tyres and tubes, motor boat, poppy seeds etc worth Rs204.291million through anti-smuggling activities from Oct 31 to Nov 23, 2013.
Briefing the media, Muhammad Yahya said that the anti-smuggling activities have been carried out by Quetta Collectorate, Gwadar Collectorate, Preventive Collectorate; Karachi and Hyderabad Collectorate.
Chief Collector Enforcement also highlighted the shortage of staff in Enforcement (South Region) and said that only 1,700 officials are working in all the collectorates of South Region. He urged the government that new recruitment should be conducted in Enforcement (South Region).
“Pakistan Customs has indentified the mechanism through which the currency is being transferred illegally from the country, adding that initiative along with Pakistan Army has been taken to deploy sniffer dogs in order to identity the smuggled currency and goods”, he asserted.
He further informed that the scanners have also been installed from Chaman to Torkhum borders to curb the smuggling.
“All these actions have been taken in the light of the directives issued by Supreme Court in its Constitutional Petition No.16 of 201, adding that all the agencies are being heading towards curbing of the smuggling of illegal arms/ammunition, narcotics and other contraband goods”, he concluded.
The Collector MCC Preventive S M Tariq Huda and Assistant Collector Wasif Malik were also present on the occasion.