PESHAWAR: Corruption by QICT and shipping lines Maersk haunted national economy and caused loss of billions to the national exchequer. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) received a complaint seeking probe to ascertain role of 65 employees of QICT / DP World and Maersk in country’s biggest shipping scandal involving 610 billion rupees. The FIA and the NAB were also asked to investigate the scam of looting importers by Qasim International Container Terminal and shipping companies like Maersk.
Speaking to Customs Today, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Faiz Mohmmed said that no room will be left for shipping lines Maersk to grab money from importers and exporters and proper steps need to be taken in order to discourage the gambling of shipping lines Maersk and QICT.
Faiz Mohammed who was recently elected as President added that the National Security Agencies need to closely examine the data and reports regarding taking extra demurrage charges from importers in violation of customs rules.
Faiz Mohammed said that world is moving forward by facilitating trade while biggest corruption is carried out in the business sector. If corruption is not brought to zero, no improvement can be expected in economy.
According to another detail, Habibullah Khan, the owner of QICT, is under observation for looting billions of rupees. Habibullah Khan, the alleged mastermind of Panama-like offshore companies having questionable financial backing controlling one of the strategic assets of Pakistan in the shape of QICT which pose a security threat to nation. QICT controls major container traffic in and out of Pakistan and cannot be given to discreet hands.
Faiz Mohmmed further said that Karachi has been hub of trade and commerce activities and in order to encourage trade in Pakistan, the security agencies and government ought to keep close eye on those who violate rules established to give safe passage to importers and exporters.
Meanwhile, importers have filed application to lodge FIR against Maersk shipping line and its agents in Pakistan and QICT under PPC 34, 407, 409, 420, 427, 506 and others so that these fraudsters are stopped to blackmail genuine importers by demanding ‘illegal’ additional charges.
As per details, “importers, through their shipper/agents in China, handed the goods to Maersk shipping line as trust to be delivered and released here at QICT, Karachi. The Maersk shipping line nominated M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd as their agents at Karachi for delivery of goods. Importers also long back paid in full to the shipping lines the ocean freight charges as agreed between the parties. But despite repeated reminders and visiting office of M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and QICT, they did not release the goods yet”.
Importers said Maersk shipping line and its subsidiary in Pakistan, M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are deliberately holding the containers for minting illegal money and robbing the importers.
Law under SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 explains that shipping companies cannot charge any demurrage and detention where specifically it is not agreed and also specifically not mentioned on the B/L (Bill of lading). Another section 14A of the Customs Act, 1969 says the importer cannot be forced to pay any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gives a certificate to importer called the ‘delay and detention certificate’. But despite this certificate, importers’ goods are held illegally to demand heavy amounts as demurrage.
Importers said, “The actions of Maersk shipping line and its subsidiary in Pakistan, M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Soren Skou, Claus V. Hammingsen, Soren Toft, Vincent Clercp, Morten H. Engelstoft, Arslan Khan, Gazanfar Khan, Raheem Saleem, Maqsoodul Hassan Khan, Fawad Khan, Hassan Faraz, Shakeel Masih, Umer Khan, Ali Jawad Alvi, Zafar Iqbal, Ayesha Chaudhry, Zahid Hussain, Salman Ahmad, Amir Ali, Amees Aziz Khan, Muhammad Naeem, Farheen Mahmood, Mubashir Iqbal, Yasmeen Fasih, Afaq Syed, Syed Muhammad Abbas Jafri, Muhammad Tanveer Sharif, Salman Attique, Hamza Haqq, Zyad Mahmood, Amir Ibrahim, Yasir Saeed Khan, Amal Sadiq Dawood, Captain M. A. Rahman, Iffat Mahmood, Maria Arooj, Zain Warsi, Yumna Nadeem, Mahreen Zulfiqar, Awais Saleem, Zafar Iqbal, Syed Usman Iqbal Zaidi, Anam Yaqoob, Fahad Ali, Ubaid Iqbal, Zahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Danish Qureshi, Amir Arif, Arshad Ayub, Syed Mudassir Ali, Syed Hammad Hussain, Ayesha Qadri, Sheikh Samiullah, Tanveer Hassan, others and of QICT through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Sultan Ahmad Bin Suleman, Yuvraj Narayan, Deepak Parekh, Robert Woods, Abdulla Gobash, Mark Russel, Mohammad Saif Al Sowaidi, Nadia Abdulla Kamaili, Mohammad Al Moallem, Sohail Al Banna, Rizwan Somar, Rashid Abdullah, Mohammad Al Hashimy, Junaid Zameer and others, individually and jointly, tantamount to conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief to cause losses, threatening, etc. which attract penal sections under PPC 34, 407, 409, 420, 427, 506, besides others.”
Importers said they gave goods as trust (amaanat) to Maersk shipping line, M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and QICT but their goods are held illegally to blackmail them to pay heavy amounts of charges and thus the Maersk shipping line, M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and QICT make good wealth through criminal means.
Importers confirmed that they have finally lodged application against Maersk shipping line, M/S Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and QICT, and they are following up with the Bin Qasim police station on daily basis. The police officials assured the applicants that soon they will lodge the FIR according to law and take necessary legal action against all the accused persons involved in the mega scandal.