KARACHI: Pakistani Government, Pak Army and Customs Authorities deployed at Karachi ports are fully prepared to counter Coronavirus attack threat from Indian controlled Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. Illegal appointment of Indians at Pakistan’s strategic sea port Qasim International Containers Terminal (QICT) without the Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) clearance could pose security threat to the country. Indians are reportedly spying on the QICT as it is controlled by M/s DP World Group with 75% shares and, many of the management staff and directors of board have been Indian nationals. Through such a discreet control of the QICT, Indians could achieve their alleged nefarious activities to destroy peace and stability in Pakistan.
Sources said that now Indians are allegedly planning to spread Coronavirus throughout Pakistan while entering from QICT and Maersk which are reportedly being controlled by Indians. WHO has declared Coronavirus as public health emergency because it was determined to be an extraordinary event with public health risks to other states. Keeping in view the seriousness and sensitivity of the problem and concern of world community, it is advised the cargo of human or animal origin imported from the affected areas in China in last 15 days not be cleared without fumigation. While the fear of such attack by Indians lurk on QICT terminal, Directorate of Central Health Establishments Islamabad has issued an advisory to Customs Authorities in Karachi that second hand clothing/used shoes and other worn articles should not be cleared without fumigation under the supervision of Port Health Establishment Karachi.
On the other hand Pak Army and DG ISPR are fully alert to save the country from any threat, especially Indian. After Pulwana and Balakot Incidents, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and other security departments have made special security arrangements at Karachi ports due to possible Indian attacks through seaports. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had averted any major conflict in the region with his strategic prudence and superior military strategy. Historic measures as well as important and difficult decisions taken by the army chief had led to peace in the country. The army chief had spearheaded the successful Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad following the Operation Sherdil and Operation Zarb-e-Azb which was crucial to securing lasting peace in the country.
Pakistan Army is fully capable to defend the country’s territorial integrity against any Indian aggression. Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) says Pakistan armed forces are fully prepared to respond to any Indian misadventure. The Pakistan Army, he said, holds an impregnable ability to defeat India. Any misadventure by India would be given a befitting response, he added. Pakistanis feel proud due to preparedness by the Govt, Pak Army and Customs Authorities to avert any threat by Indians.
Recently, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that the armed forces were ready to ‘reclaim’ Azad Kashmir from Pakistan, if the Indian parliament orders them to do so. “If the [Indian] parliament wants [Azad] Kashmir to be a part of India, then we will take the necessary action to achieve that goal,” the newly appointed Indian army chief had told the media. This is not the first time that the new Indian General has indulged in provocative posturing. In an earlier statement, Gen Naravane made a mockery of himself by saying that India “reserves the right to preemptively strike [in Pakistan]”. There is no doubt that now Indians could make any Pulwana-like vicious attempts against Pakistan and they are allegedly thinking to use a human tragedy Coronavirus as an opportunity to attack Pakistan through their alleged control of QICT and Maerk Pakistan. Indian officials deployed at QICT and Maersk could play their role to clear the consignments coming from China without any checking or fumigation. In fact, there is a possible plan that human or animal origin goods of China may be discreetly entered into the cities of Pakistan through QICT port terminal without the knowledge of Customs department and other relevant agencies.
India is involved in anti-state activities in Pakistan’s several cities including Balochistan province where Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was caught by the ISI. The Pak Army and secret agencies are catching each and every Indian spy to stop their hostile activities inside Pakistan. To avoid such activities of Indian spies, Pakistan Army was apprised of Indians working at the QICT through a discreet control of its holding company which has 75% shares and management control of the QICT. Pak Army was reportedly apprised of some directors of holding company of QICT who were Indians and have been handling Indian Ports in the past like Rizwan Sultanali Soomar, an Indian national while being Chairman & Director of M/s DP World Karachi. He has been head of APM Terminals investments in India, also served as Director of Gujrat Pipavav Port Limited, India and also served as Managing Director of Maersk Line India & Sri Lanka. Also Devang Mankodi, an Indian national, is Director of DP World Karachi and he has served as Director of Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal India and also worked in Logistics Company in India. This implies that QICT Port of Pakistan is controlled by Indians. Ports are highly sensitive and strategic assets of Pakistan which cannot be given in the hands of nationals of hostile countries. With such management holding of Indians, electronic data and sensitive information like in and out movement at the Port and other classified information of Pakistan can always be shared with India.
The CIJ Pakistan informed the Chairman of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) through complaint/letter No. 165/CIJ/11/2018 dated November 12, 2018 regarding the above and specifically in terms of high security risk to our nation due to malpractice and illegalities of officials of PQA, QICT Pakistan Limited, M/s DP World Group and others. SECP, in its reply through a letter vide reference No. CLD/CCD/Misc./C&Q/2016-6300 dated December, 4, 2018 issued with the stamp and signature of Khurram Shahzad, Assistant Registrar of Companies admitted that “in regards to the appointment of Indian nationals in the M/s QICT Pakistan Limited, please be informed that the returns pertaining to the appointments have not yet been accepted by the concerned Registrar and the case has already been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior (the “MOI”) for clearance. Further course of action will be decided after the receipt of the clearance from MOI.”
SECP sources confirmed that Rizwan Sultanali Soomar and Devang Mankodi recently left Pakistan, fearing action from Pakistan Army against them. But sources said removal of some Indian directors was only an eye wash because the control of Karachi ports is still in the hands of Indians. These Indian officials at key posts could help Narendra Modi Govt to launch Coronavirus attack threat from QICT and Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, which should be taken seriously by the security agencies of the country.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Suleyman
Meanwhile, Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are pressurising Customs Today to stop coverage of alleged 100s of billions worth of mega scandals. QICT and Maersk Pakistan are using pressure tactics by submitting various fake applications at multiple forums against Customs Today. They are also sending different people including unscrupulous elements to pressurise management and staff of Customs Today. They are threatening to attack website of the newspaper if coverage of their alleged mega scams is not stopped.
It is pertinent to mention here that Customs Today has extensively covered alleged mega scams worth billions of rupees of these both above-mentioned companies where they were illegally charging huge demurrage and detention charges and bleeding the nation. These companies were allegedly evading sales tax worth billions in connivance with Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) and inflicting huge loss on the national exchequer. Even these companies reportedly hired some Indian officials at key posts posing huge security risk to Pakistan. After this coverage QICT and Maersk Pakistan started pressurising and blackmailing Customs Today. In a single day on 28th January 2020 itself 15 million hits were made on Customs Today website so as to pull it down. NAB has taken up the case against Maersk Pakistan and Aruna Hussain, new CEO of Maersk Pakistan, could also be included in the inquiry process by the NAB. She has taken the charge sometime back but the company has not amended its alleged illegal activities under her supervision so the NAB could also summon her in this mega shipping scam case.
The NAB received a complaint seeking probe to ascertain link of Habibullah Khan with Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT)/DP World in parking billions of rupees black money. In this complaint the NAB was asked to launch probe to ascertain role of 65 employees of QICT/DP World and a shipping company in country’s biggest shipping scandal involving 610 billion rupees.
The complaint received by the NAB demanded legal action for recoveries of amounts looted and recovering losses of Rs. 610 billion to the national exchequer per year while also stopping such further losses from the accused persons of these companies including Søren Skou, Claus V. Hemmingsen, Søren Toft, Vincent Clercp, Morten H. Engelstoft, others of Maersk Line; Arslan Khan, Gazanfar Khan, Raheel Salim, Maqsood Ul Hasan Khan, Fuad Khan, Hasan Faraz, Shakeel Masih, Omer Khan, Ali Jawad Alvi, Zafar Iqbal, Ayesha Chowdhry, Zahid Hussain, Salman Ahmad, Aamir Ali, Umais Aziz Khan, Mohammed Naeem, Farheen Mahmud, Mubasshar Iqbal, Affaq Syed, Syed Mohammad Abbas Jafri, Muhammad Tanveer Sharif, Salman Ateeq, Hamza Haq, Ziad Mahboob, Aamir Ibrahim, Yasir Saeed Khan, Amal Sadiq Dawood, Effat Mehmood, Maria Urooj, Zain Warsi, Mehreen Zulfiqar, Awais Saleem, Zafar Iqbal, Syed Osman Iqbal Zaidi, Anum Yaqub, Fahad Ali, Obaid Iqbal, Zahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Danish Siddiqui, Amir Arif, Arshad Ayub, Syed Mudassir Ali, Syed Hammad Hussain, Ayesha Qadri, Sheikh Samiullah, others of M/S Maersk Pakistan Private Limited; Sultan Ahmad Bin Suleman, Yuvraj Narayan, Deepak Parekh, Robert Woods, Abdulla Ghobash, Mark Russell, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Nadya Abdulla Kamali, Mohammed Al Muallem, Suhail Al Banna, Rizwan Soomar, Mathew Leech, Abdulla Bin Damithan, Devang Mankodi, Rashid Abdulla, Mohammad Al Hashimy, Habibullah Khan, Nusrat Khan, Aly Khan, Junaid Zamir, Changaz Hassan Niazi, Farhan Mithani, Masoud Noori, Mohammad Al Mannaei, Omer Al Mohairi, Cyrus R Khursigara, Shahid Iqbal, Uzair Qureshi, Fasih Haider, Faraz Aziz, Abdul Aleem Mirza, Saad Zulfiqar and others of DP World/ QICT Ltd.
The accused persons of DP World/ QICT Ltd. are facing charges of more than 20 mega scam allegations against them. Now the NAB Executive board under the chairmanship of Justice (r) Javed Iqbal has finally approved inquiry against officials of QICT in country’s biggest ports and shipping scandal involving more than 400 billion rupees. QICT’s such alleged scams are reported extensively by Customs Today. After so much coverage by Customs Today about alleged mega scams of QICT with CEO Junaid Zameer including illegally taking scanninig fees, demanding extra demurrage and detention charges and misusing green and yellow channels, the Collector Port Qasim Mumtaz Ali Khoso started actively looking at the alleged mega scams of QICT Pakistan Ltd and under supervision of Chief Collector Suraiya Ahmad Butt recently lodged an FIR against management of QICT and others involved in an organized illegal removal of the auction cargo from port area by presenting fake and forged documents. Khoso has been performing exceptionally well, refusing to succumb to favours and pressure of QICT.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) recently approved an inquiry against Habibullah Khan, alleged owner of the Qasim International Containers Terminal (QICT) and other 65 officials, in country’s biggest Ports and shipping scandal. NAB’s Executive Board meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Justice (r) Javed Iqbal in Islamabad where five inquiries were approved including inquiries against Habibullah Khan of Qasim International Containers Terminal (QICT), M/s United Energy Group Limited, M/s Pakistan Petroleum Limited, M/s Millat Tractors and officers of NTDC. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman NAB, Prosecutor General Accountability NAB, DG Operations NAB, DG NAB Rawalpindi and other senior officials.
It is pertinent to mention that the NAB received a complaint with subject: Building dams by recovering losses of more than Rs 400 billion from officials of port terminals like QICT and shipping lines like Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd in terms of looting the nation under the garb of demurrage and detention, non-payment of hundreds of billions of sales tax to Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) and also looting foreign exchange of Pakistan to the tune of millions of dollars annually and further illegalities committed by them. The alleged nexus of some private port terminals like QICT along with its parent company DP World, Port Qasim and shipping line Maersk Pakistan and a few officials of the SRB are making illegal money through malpractice defrauding the SRB of hundreds of billions of rupees by not paying Sales Tax on services offered at the rate of 13%. A foreign shipping company’s agent Maersk Pakistan is reportedly providing shipping and other services in Pakistan to various importers and exporters. Therefore, they are liable to pay service tax to SRB at the rate of 13% as per SRB Notification No. 3-4/20/2017. The Commissioner II of the Sindh Revenue Board was bound by the Notification No. 3-4/20/2017 to collect sales tax on services from the shipping lines as mentioned in point 15 of the table which is also available on the official website of SRB. Furthermore, terminal ports like QICT and shipping line Maersk Pakistan are not allowed to collect any demurrage and detention amounts from the importers when the importers provide “delay and detention certificate” under section 14-A of the Customs Act, 1969.
Despite this the port terminal and the shipping line blackmail and harass the importers to collect hundreds of thousands of rupees per single consignment in connivance with the concerned Government officials, Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Ministry of Maritime and others. The shipping line Maersk Pakistan and terminal operator QICT are collecting local service charges from Pakistan customers and freely converting such Pakistan rupees to US Dollars and repatriating the same which tantamount to the gross abuse of the foreign exchange laws of Pakistan. This action is draining our nation of our valuable foreign reserves and causing our currency to nose dive, the complaint said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the NAB issued a 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. Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement South Suraiya Ahmed Butt 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 implement demurrage and detention certificates issued by the department. Sources said that the accused persons are influential people and hence refuse to honour these Delay and Detention certificates issued by the Customs Department and keep collecting illegal demurrage and detention charges. The chief collector Suraiya Butt and the Port Qasim collector Mumtaz Khoso despite having a good track record have failed to curb the illegalities of these influential accused persons and have failed to get their own certificates honoured. This poses a big question on the writ of the state to curb open illegal activities of these influential accused persons and companies. Experts say that Surraiya Butt needs to strictly direct her juniors to keep a check on these companies which are bleeding our economy.
On the other hand, Wasif Ali Memon, Chief Collector of Customs Enforcement, under whose authority the licenses are issued to these shipping companies, must implement demurrage and detention laws or take action against these shipping companies and terminal operators including the accused bigwigs. Wasif Memon is one of the best persons for this post as he fully understands customs laws and working of the shipping lines & terminal operators. He also has good repute in the department due to proper implementation of enforcement and preventive policies. But a few juniors have not yet implemented these policies in letter and spirit that’s why powerful companies like QICT and Maersk Pakistan make their way through favour and pressure to loot our nation while inflicting billions of rupees loss on the exchequer. These companies have deeply penetrated in all departments to misuse laws and harass the citizens of Pakistan.
Sources said Maersk shipping line and its subsidiary in Pakistan, M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are blackmailing importers through illegal holding & blocking of their imported goods for the sake of demanding additional demurrage and detention charges. After importers complaint, Model Customs Collectorate of Preventive, Karachi had issued a notice to M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd as it started the process to cancel license of the company for sheer violation of the Customs Act 1969 and SRO 1220(I)/2015. Customs Today procured copies of the letter issued by Model Customs Collectorate of Preventive while pursuing to cancel license M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. Assistant Collector Licensing, Hameer Khan in a letter reference No S2/Misc/9/2018-Lic (P) sent to M/s Maersk Pakistan in the subject line as: “100% waiver of demurrage and detention and also cancelation of license of Maersk Pakistan Private Limited under rules 603 (Q), 603 (R), 604 (Q) and 607 (E), others under SRO 1220 (I)/2015 and u/s 14A of the Customs Act, 1969 while placing penalty u/s 156(1) 7A of the Customs Act, 1969”. In a move to cancel the licenses of these companies, importers had written a letter to Chief Collector Enforcement and Collector Customs Preventive to take necessary legal action against Maersk Line and its subsidiary Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for violating SRO 1220 (I)/2015.
Now NAB has started inquiries against QICT and our entire nation is fully confident that NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal while keeping up to his excellent reputation of ‘Accountability for all’ will not succumb to the favours and pressures of the influential while taking these inquiries to the logical end and recovering billions of rupees of looted money from these powerful companies. The NAB Chairman has gained such confidence of the nation by speaking through his actions while recovering more than Rs702 billion through NAB Karachi Bureau alone.
Pakistani Government, Pak Army and Customs Authorities deployed at Port Qasim should also take action against control of Indians at QICT and Maersk Pakistan. Illegal appointment of Indians at Pakistan’s strategic sea port QICT without the Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) clearance could pose security threat to the country in short and long term both. Indians have thus got an opportunity to plan Coronavirus attack from QICT and Maersk into Pakistan. All said and done, Pakistan is all prepared to counter Coronavirus attack threat from Indian controlled Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd.