KARACHI: The Customs Court directed jail authority to release suspect namely Nadeem Ahmed son of Noor Bux, who was imprisoned for allegedly smuggling 16,000 kilograms crushed betel nuts valuing of Rs8,000,000.
On August 17, 2019, a big development came when Aqil Ahmed, senior lawyer appeared before the court on behalf of said arrested suspect and argued that betel nuts items were not mentioned in any SRO regarding smuggling and betel nuts items illegal movement is not called smuggling, therefore, customs or any agencies can only confine items but have no authority to confine any suspect in lock-up or jail.
He further argued that all the cases in which customs officials caught betel nuts and lodged first information reports regarding smuggling sections are illegal, during the hearing, counsel for customs department confirmed that betel nuts items have not mentioned in any SRO regarding smuggling.
After the hearing, the court denied for receiving interim charge sheet and directed jail authority to release the suspect immediately.
According to the first information report on actionable information, customs officials intercepted a Hino truck bearing registration number TAM-251 and recovered 385 pp bags each containing 40 kilograms foreign origin betel nuts total 15,400 and 20 pp bags each containing 30 kilograms foreign origin betel nuts total 600 kilograms.
Investigation officer submitted that during the search, driver was asked to produce any documents, however, he failed to produce any lawful documents, therefore, after the formalities, goods along with vehicle were seized and shifted to Customs House and suspect was also taken into custody.
He further argued that prosecution needs further investigation from him for arrest of financiers, abettors and others including owner of impugned goods and vehicle, therefore, court may send him back to customs lock-up. After the hearing, court approved his physical remand and directed investigation officer to produce him on next date of hearing along with progress report.
According to the prosecution, case was registered by complainant Manzoor Ahmed, senior preventive officer, Customs House Karachi for violation of under Section 2 (s) (15) (16) of the Customs Act 1969 punishable under Clause (89) of Section 156 (i) ibid read with Section 156 (2) of the Customs Act, 1969 further read with section 3 (1) of Imports & Export Control Act, 1950.