KARACHI: A Lahore-based company, M/s Ahmed Packages, is allegedly found to be involved in smuggling of betel nuts by misusing the facility of TP Containers.
Sources told Customs Today that the customs authorities have included the name of the company in the FIR number 2/2018 along with two other companies, M/s Sky Shipping Line and M/s Arose Transport and Logistics, Karachi, in the betel nuts smuggling case.
According to the customs officials, M/s Ahmed Packages imported two containers filled with betel nuts from UAE but declared the consignment as galvanized plain sheets and moved the containers to Lahore dry port for the clearance from the Karachi port but adopted the same offence by removing the betel nuts from containers to supply it back to Karachi and loaded steel coils replacing the space of betel nuts. “This racket has not only caused the loss to the government exchequer in millions but also supplied the low quality and hazardous betel nuts in the local market,” a custom official informed on the condition of anonymity.
A report about Karachi based traders of betel nuts, who are involved in the smuggling, has been sent to Karachi base officials to launch a crackdown against them.
It is worth mentioning that before M/s Ahmed Packages three separate FIRs were lodged against M/s Ajmair Impex and M/s City Steel UAE, Lahore for mis-declaration and smuggling of betel nuts in the previous month of February.
On 21st February the scam of misusing the green channel at Customs Appeasement Port Qasim once again was proved when Customs Preventive’s team raided a godown in Korangi Industrial area and near Port Qasim in Karachi and confiscated the six containers of total fourteen filled with smuggled betel nuts which were cleared under the garb of scrap from Port Qasim.
Customs Preventive Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) then lodged FIR against M/s City Steel UAE Ltd Lahore and the clearing agent on 22nd February besides initiating full scale investigation against all involved elements.
Then, a second FIR against M/s City Steel UAE, Lahore was registered by Customs Appraisement Port Qasim when Custom Investigation Unit (CIU) was directed by the appraisement officials for initiating scrutiny of recently cleared consignments scrap and other miscellaneous items from the Port Qasim to avoid any other FIR by Customs Preventive ASO and to save the face and skin of some highly influential officers of the said Collectorate like ADC Yaseen Murtaza because with the registration of first FIR on 22nd February they were going to registered more cases and they had all the information.