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SHC approves after arrest bail of suspects in HSD oil smuggling case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) granted after arrest bail of 7 suspects namely Muhammad Ishaq, Muhammad Yousuf, Imran-ur-Rahman, Shahbaz Khan, Maaz Bin Jawad, Muhammad Junaid and Syed Tariq Ali Shah who are booked in a case of attempting to smuggle non-duty paid HSD oil other contraband goods.

On April 4, 2020, a single bench granted them after arrest bail and directed them to appear before the trail court on next date of hearing, court also directed them to cooperative with investigation officer when required.

During the hearing, counsels for accused/ applicants filed bail applications and argued that their clients are innocents and have been falsely implicated in this case, who are ready to face trail and submit shorty bonds, therefore, court may grant their bail.

Earlier, March 12, 2020, Customs Court had dismissed bail applications and observed in its order that “bail cannot be allowed to swindlers and plunders of national exchequer when the amount involved is exorbitantly very high and when it is against the public policy good.

At this stage only interim charge sheet has been filed and no proof is produced regarding payment of duty and taxes of possessing huge quantity of HSD oil, dismiss the bail applications of the applicants as prima facie, involved in subject offence, however, they may repeat their bail applications if any such document showing payment of duty and taxes in respect of subject goods had been made in account of national exchequer, needless to mention that these observations are only tentative nature”.

On last date of hearing, court had proceeded on interim charge sheet which was submitted on last date of hearing, after arguments of investigation officer court approved charge sheet and issued non-bail able warrants against absconding suspects and directed investigation officer to arrest them and produce before the court.

investigation officer had submitted charge sheet and informs the court that on an actionable information was received that M/s Byco Petroleum is involved in the supply of smuggled HSD to the vessels operating in sea, particularly for consumption by tug boats and fishing boats operating within Pakistan Customs Territorial waters through a barge namely Wania-II.

He further submits that on pursuant to the said information, customs team reached at spot and suspected barge was spotted in the open sea near Chrna Island, within the territorial waters and recovered 230,000 and 41,000 liters high speed diesel and US$ 13,200 equivalent to Rs. 2,061,500.

He further said that during the search, crew member could not satisfied the customs officials, therefore, they were arrested and first information report was lodged against above mentioned suspects.

He added that during the investigation, it was revealed that above mentioned suspects and others are involved in this crime which falls under section 2(s) & 156 (2) and 178 of the customs act, 1969.

According to the charge sheet Maaz-Bin Javed, supervisor M/s Khurram Oils, Syed Tariq Ali Shah, Muhammad Junaid, Muhammad Ishaq, Muhammad Yousuf and others already in custody, however, Zeeshan Malik, managing director of Zeeshan oils is on pre-arrest bail granted by Sindh High Court (SHC).

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