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Customs ASO intensifies operations against smugglers: Raza

Customs ASO intensifies operations against smugglers: Raza

Says field force are strictly instructed to follow departmental procedure in combating smuggling activities

LAHORE: Collectorate of Customs Preventive Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) has intensified anti-smuggling operations at the very inception of the financial year 2017-18 and the ASO field force has been strictly instructed to follow the instructions in combating and curtailing smuggling activities in its jurisdiction.

These views were expressed by Customs ASO Deputy Collector Muhammad Moazzam Raza while talking to Customs Today here the other day.

Moazzam Raza said that on the directions of Collector of Customs Zulfikar Ali Chaudhary ,a number of steps have been taken to bring smuggling to the lowest ebb.

“The far-reaching measures being taken at the Collectorate level would certainly help modernizing Anti-Smuggling Organization to effectively control the menace and tackle the smugglers who are equipped with the modern and latest weapons, he said, informing that training of ASO staff has also become a major focus of MCC. The staff is being trained on weapon handling and physical strength, he said.

He further explained that in order to effectively control smuggling under the limits of the Collectorate all the scouts of the anti-smuggling units have been given monthly target besides monitoring of the scouts has also been made stronger through the implementation of latest software.

In answer to a question, he added that this year’s fresh recruitments sepoys and other staff have been completed and the things will get even better and the ASO will be successful in creating deterrence to a great extent at the boarders and roads and operations at the market places are also on.

He said that acting upon the strategies made at the central level country wide Lahore ASO have conducted a number operations which resulted in thumping success in terms of mega seizures of illegally imported vehicles items.

He added that the Collectorate has no tolerance for all kinds of corrupt activities and the ASO staff have also been instructed strictly never get involved in such activities.

To a query, he explained that the ASO has its special focus on big roads including motorways and GT Road, big godowns and market places and in this connection special meetings are also being arranged with the relevant authorities of other departments, he said adding, that meetings are also being held to evolve a comprehensive strategy for mutual information exchange between the customs and the other departments.

Raza disclosed that Customs field officials have been strictly ordered to follow the strategies and come hard on the smugglers without being influenced by any type of internal or external undue pressure.

While talking about Customs Investigation and Prosecution, he told this scribe that a number of successful operations have been conducted against the drug runners who are involved in illegal import and export of drugs via GPO.

“We lodged FIRs against such elements and were able to successfully arrest the drug runners who are of foreign origin,” the deputy collector said, adding that auction of seized non-customs paid vehicles are being transparently conducted which is one important source of revenue for the Collectorate.