KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed the Special Customs and Taxation Court to expeditiously proceed with trial in a case pertaining to fraudulent release of Afghan Transit Cargo and ensure that the case is decided preferably within four months.
The directives came on the petition filed by Shaukat Gul, Muhammad Ali, Imran Ali and Luqman Khan who were facing charges of illegal release of ATT commercial consignments under the grab of the non-commercial US military goods.
In the petition, they submitted that a fake case was registered against them. After submission of interim charge sheet in the trial Court concerned, they added, the case could not proceed further despite lapse of considerable time. The petitioners, who are out on bail, requested the Court to issue directives for the trial Court to decide the case swiftly.
According to the details of the FIR, the customs officials had lodged an FIR against a bonded carrier, M/s Pak Afghan Cargo Service, for fraudulent release of Afghan Transit Cargo in the guise of US military cargo.
On suspicion, a letter was written to the consulate general of the United States of America, Karachi for verification of the letter submitted by the bonded carrier for obtaining one-time registration of the vehicles.
In response, the consulate general through a letter dated September 9, 2013 confirmed that a letter purportedly issued by the consulate general bearing no USC/IMP/309/13 dated July 1, 2013 for bill of lading no 55931676 and containers- MSKU9392963 and MSKU8255826 presented to the collectorate by Shaukal Gul for seeking release of non commercial consignment of the US military was fake.
In view of the aforesaid confirmation, the collectorate deputed a specially constituted team to carry out search of the office premises of the bonded carrier, which led to the recovery and seizure of vital record.
Therefore, the FIR was registered against Shaukat Gul, one of the partner of the firm, along with three other accomplices namely Muhammad Ali, Imran Ali and Luqman Khan, who allegedly played a vital role in the crime.