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Customs Court grants pre-arrest bail to 5 clearing agents

Customs Court grants pre-arrest bail to 5 clearing agents

KARACHI: Link Judge Special Customs and Taxation Court Arshad Noor Khan granted bail before arrest on Rs 500,000 surety bonds to five clearing agents in a case filed by Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement- Port Muhammad Bin Qasim.

Complainant Shakeel Ahmed Khan, Appraising Officer MCC-PMBQ, has lodged a case against twelve clearing agents.

Umar Farooq Advocate, the counsel for the five accused from as many companies; namely M/S. Arqam Packages & Printers; M/S. Air Sea Alliance; M/S. AKKS International; M/S. Maha Taufix Impex and M/S. S&B International representing the five clearing agents argued that though the complainant says in his report that the names of Customs and bank officials conniving with or hoodwinking the Customs officials need in depth investigation, he provided names of none of these officials in the FIR lodged on November 28, 2014 at Customs House, Export Processing Zone Karachi.

He also argued that the cash number issued in WeBOC system is issued by a Customs official who is issued an ID and a password. Once the Custom officer issues the cash number he/she sends the GD to the online bank system. When an importer goes to the bank to pay the due duty and taxes the bank officer tallies the amount and if satisfied accepts the payment. Once the payment is accepted the bank officer transmits this information to the custom officer verifying that the said amount is being collected. Under such situation, no person could make any changes in a GD because all this work has been done online; he further argues. According to complainant, the 12 accused caused a cumulative loss of Rs 3.6 million by making changes to a total of 113 GDs.  The next hearing of the case will be held on January 7, 2015.