ISLAMABAD: Director General (DG) Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Zahid Kokhar said Customs I&I has developed an anti-smuggling software to be used for monitoring of smuggling activities, profiling of smugglers and evaluating performance of anti-smuggling officials.
Talking with Customs Today during an exclusive interview, DG I&I Muhammad Zahid Kokhar said the Directorate General I&I has launched locally-developed software to effectively eradicating anti-smuggling activities, adding that the software is in the process of implementation and Directorates of Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad have started uploading their data on this software while training of other Directorates’ staff is underway to enable them to properly upload and use data on the software. The software will be fully operationalised within next few days throughout the jurisdiction of the Directorate General, he added.
He said only authorized persons having valid user IDs and passwords can access the data as it has firewall protection in place. The software can be accessed through a unique IP address while its server will be maintained locally. He informed that the system is designed in such a way that its data will be interactive and exportable to other softwares like n-CEN, NSC (national single window) and national targeting center (NTC).
He said the “customs anti-smuggling software” can be accessed online and it is made user-friendly with an easy to use interface. This software is designed to keep record of vehicles seized under Section 157, names of offenders, their role and nature of offence along with the role of seizing authority.
Zahid Kokhar said application of this software is limited only to the Directorate General of I&I while it is being suggested that same be extended to all Preventive MCCs (Model Customs Collectorates) as well to promote intra-department and inter-agency coordination to effectively curb the menace of smuggling.
He suggested amendments are required in SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) 499(l)2009 related to determine smuggling offense, confiscating vehicles and imposing penalty on smugglers. The DG said the software will gather data of vehicles seized under Section 157 of the Customs Act 1969 while in case of new seizures the software is capable to identify if the vehicle was used earlier in smuggling and seized by any formation of Customs anywhere in Pakistan, whereas complete data of smugglers would be collected as per their CNICs which will help create profiles of smugglers.
He said the software will provide HS-Code wise data of every commodity seized as this will help in analyzing smuggling trends and smuggling of banned commodities, adding that the software will provide complete data of staff making seizures of goods giving reflection of their performance in anti-smuggling operations whereas it will help for holding accountable the Customs Directorates and Collectorates.
The DG added the software will identify the routes being used for smuggling, adding that software will also archive data for future use and share with other law enforcement agencies (LEAs).