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Customs forms anti-smuggling squads after CJP’s notice of green channel smuggling

Customs forms anti-smuggling squads after CJP’s notice of green channel smuggling

ISLAMABAD: In light of notice taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar against green channel smuggling and open sale of those smuggled goods in big markets of major cities, the Customs Collectrorate has constituted special anti-smuggling squads led by assistant collector Preventive to crack down on NDP vehicles, Intra-Kashmir Trade, godowns and smuggled goods within Rawalpindi Division.

Sources told Customs Today that the anti-smuggling team will work under the supervision of Assistant Collector Customs Preventive Division Majid Hussain Gaad and staff comprising Superintendent Abid Hussain Malik and four inspectors including Javed Masoos, Syed Muhammad Ali, Aftab Ahmad and Junaid Khalid.

The sources said that the anti-smuggling team will focus on the areas where warehouses of smuggled goods are suspected and at entry and exit points of the city markets and towards the Motorway as well as where such goods are sold like Rawalpindi Bara Market.

It is pertinent to mention that Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of a complaint filed against illegal clearances through green channel and ordered report/comments from concerned quarters within 10 days while the court associate sent the order copy to the Chairman NAB for necessary action.

According to details, the chief justice took notice on a complaint accompanied by an appeal published in Customs Today about Rs 1000 billion mega scam of green channel illegal clearances.

It is worthy to mention here that Customs Today has been reporting on abuse of green channel since past many years. Mega brands like Mobilink and QMobile were reported to be grossly abusing Green Channel facility with connivance of Customs staff. Customs Today exposed mega smuggling scam of Digicom Company (Q-Mobile) as the company cleared more than 750 containers through green channel.

On 2nd February 2018, Customs Today exposed a smuggling bid of 15,520 liters of dual use precursor acetic anhydride worth around $1.5 million at Port Qasim. The acetic anhydride is a main ingredient for preparing narcotics substance as well as making highly dangerous explosives by the terrorist outfits. Then, Customs Today published several reports about betel nuts smuggling worth billions of rupees through ports at Port Qasim and Appraisement East Collectorate.

These reports led to multiple raids, tens of FIRs and recoveries of illegally cleared goods worth billions of rupees. In fact, in a single raid at a SITE area godown, 600,000 Kgs. of betel nuts worth Rs 1.5 billion were seized. Notwithstanding, these actions were only as token in nature and is a drop in the ocean whereas much more needs to be done. Customs Today also published investigative reports about changing of strategies by green channel smugglers as they started clearing illegal goods through yellow channel & TP.

Millions of Pakistanis pinned high hopes on Chief Justice Mian Saqib and Chairman NAB Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal that they would eradicate corruption mafia from the country especially in Customs Department as green channel smuggling is inflicting heavy losses on the national exchequer. The chief justice and the NAB chairman already took suo moto notices of mega corruption cases in Pakistan and even Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as prime minister in a historic decision announced in the Panama Papers case.