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Customs Court extends physical remand of appraiser booked in betel nuts smuggling case

Customs Court extends physical remand of appraiser booked in betel nuts smuggling case

KARACHI: The Customs Court extended the physical remand of Appraiser Muhammad Shahid Murad son of Murad Ali and sent him back to customs lock-up. The accused is booked in a case of attempting to smuggle non-duty paid 209,540 kilogram betel nuts.

On October 6, 2018, investigation officer of Appraisement West produced the above-mentioned suspect and informed the court that investigations are under way and prosecution needs further physical remand of suspect for arrest of other absconding suspects; therefore, the court may extend his physical remand.

After hearing, the court extended his physical remand and directed investigation officer to produce him on next date of hearing along with progress report.

First Information Report (FIR) is registered against Faisel Shakeel, owner of M/s Sualeha Textile Industries, Muhammad Zakir, owner of M/s M.Z Enterprises, proprietors and directors of clearing agent M/s Jawad Zubair, Pervaiz Ejaz son of Ahmed Sher, clearing agent of M/s Pervez Ejaz Associates, Rana Fareed, employee of M/s Pervez Ejaz Associates, Muhammad Shahid Murad son of Murad Ali, appraiser, Customs Collectorate of Appraisement, Najeeb Abid son of Abid Hussain, appraiser, Customs Collectorate of Appraisement, proprietors and directors of M/s Ansa International, proprietors and directors of M/s Mirza Corporation and others to be ascertained during the investigation.

Investigation officer informed the court that a credible information was received that importer M/s Sualeha Textile Industries and others were involved in a scam of illegal import of betel nuts in collusion with the clearing agents, customs officials and other facilitators. On that information, officials of the customs department visited the spot and found all four containers stuffed with betel nuts and pressed bundle scrap which had been stacked in front of containers to conceal the betel nuts.

He further submitted that during the initial investigation, it is established beyond any iota of doubt that the suspects, in collusion with other accomplices, aiders and abettors, have attempted to clear the impugned consignments comprising of betel nuts which were otherwise restricted items as per import policy order in vogue and included in the list of smuggled items, revenue loss on the seized goods is worth Rs46,089,024 and the market value of the offending goods has been estimated to be Rs240,000,000 as per prevailing market.