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Customs Court seeks comments on bail petition filed by suspect in betel nuts smuggling case

Customs Court seeks comments on bail petition filed by suspect in betel nuts smuggling case

KARACHI: Customs Court Judge Syed Faiz Rasool Rashdi has issued notices to the Customs Department and special prosecutor for customs on a bail petition filed by Muhammad Ibrahim, who was booked in a case of attempting to smuggle betel nuts in the garb of soap stock.

During the hearing, the suspect appeared before the court along with his counsel who moved a bail petition and argued that as per the prosecution, M/s Ali Bagh Enterprises, Karachi, imported a consignment said to contain 71250 kilogram soap stock and filed goods declaration. During the examination, 8400 kilogram betel nuts were also recovered from the container concealed with soap stock in drums.

He argued that customs authorities seized the consignment as the importer did not have valid import permit, valid release order from the Plant Protection Department, Ministry of National Food Security and Research to import the betel nuts.

He submitted that according to the prosecution above mentioned suspect who is a clearing agent and running his business under the title of M/s EQA Corporation and never engaged in imports side, who disclosed that his friend of requested him for some user ID to import consignments of soap stock on regular basis, therefore, he arranged filing of the impugned goods declaration through M/s Faster line Business against payment of Rs. 5000 per container agreed with its proprietor Syed Sarfaraz Hussain, the customs officials arrested Muhammad Ibrahim and registered case against him and other suspects.

Counsel argued that accused in innocent and has been falsely implicated in this case as he has no concern with the alleged crime and he is neither importer nor clearing agent and as such he has no role in the import and clearance of the consignment in question. He submitted that accused is willing to join investigation to clarify his position and to unearth the actual accused persons involved in illegal import.