KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has received an application against Pacific International Lines (PIL) and its agents in Pakistan, M/s Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd in a mega scam of demurrage and detention worth billions.
The complaint received by the FIA demanded legal action for recoveries of amounts looted and recovering losses of Rs. 610 billion to the national exchequer per year while also stopping such further losses from the accused persons of these companies including S.S.Teo, Peter Chang, Tan Chor Kee, William Tay, Teo Tend Seng, Tony Teo, Choo Wee Teo, Kuan Kim Kin, others of PIL Ltd; and Bakhtiar Khan, Naveed Ahmad Khan, Tay Kian Phuan William, Teo Chew Seng, Teo Siong Seng, Qamar Naqi, Baig Mirza Mueez, Khan Imran and others of M/S Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd.
Sources said Pacific International Lines is a shipping company incorporated in Singapore in 1967. The founder of PIL is the Chinese entrepreneur Chang Yun Chung. While Bakhtiar Khan is owner of Delta Group of Companies and Chief Executive Officer at Delta Transport (Pvt) Ltd engaged with businesses like transportation, trucking and railroad.
Sources said Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd is also a company of Delta Group and working as agents of PIL in Pakistan. Sources further said that main beneficiary of the Pacific Delta Shipping is Adil Khan and he is also key planner of mega scam of demurrage and detention through which his company is looting and bleeding the genuine importers of Pakistan and robbing billions of rupees from them annually.
As per the complaint received by the FIA, the nexus of some Customs staff, Port Qasim and shipping lines like PIL Ltd and its agent M/S Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd are making illegal money through malpractice.
“Firstly, customs department delays goods of majority of containers that arrive in red channel. 80% of the goods cleared in red channel take a duration which is more than the free days provided by the port terminals. Hence, the port terminals take huge amounts from the importers on each consignment thus delayed. These shipping lines also force the importers to pay huge illegal sums. All these three: the customs staff, port terminals, shipping lines as mentioned above delay the clearance and delivery of the goods to the importer. Due to this delay, the revenue collection of duty and taxes is slowed down drastically of the actual speed. Like where these goods were to be cleared and delivered in 2 days then it takes an average of 20 days to clear and deliver,” the complaint said.
The complaint received by the FIA said, “The total revenue collection by customs department is Rs. 610 billion. If the process of revenue collection is not slowed down by the above-mentioned parties then at least the revenue collections could be doubled. Hence, total loss to national exchequer due to above nexus and illegal acts of the subject accused is Rs. 610 billion”.
“The terminal ports and shipping lines are not allowed to collect any demurrage and detention amounts from the importer when the importer provides ‘delay and detention certificate’ under section 14 A of the Customs Act, 1969. Despite this, the port terminals and shipping lines blackmail and harass the importer to collect hundreds of thousands of rupees per single consignment. Since this is illegal money demanded from the citizens of Pakistan and hence it can be termed as an ‘extortion’ amount,” the complaint said.
The complaint said, furthermore, under rules 603 (Q), 603 (R), 604 (Q) and 607 (E), others of SRO 1220 (I)/2015, the shipping lines cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges where it is not specifically written on the B/L. But still in violation of these rules and laws, the shipping lines fearlessly hold the containers of the importers and charge them exorbitant detention charges. These detention charges even exceed the actual cost of container by a whopping 1,000%!
“The shipping lines charges only 30% of its cost from the importer to allure importer to give his containers to them. All remaining 70% of cost and huge profits are made through illegal means and black money. Like China-Pak cost of shipment for a 40HQ container is charged USD 300 whereas the actual cost to the shipping company is USD 1,000. Pak-China freight is almost USD 0 to USD 10 which is even more surprising. When white income of these shipping lines is only 30% of their cost then it is obvious that they are indulging in many illegal and black activities to cover cost and also make huge profits,” the complaint said.
“When complaints are made to Customs department then they do not take action against the accused which is mandatory under sections 156 (1) 7A of the Customs Act, 1969 and also rules 603 (Q), 603 (R), 604 (Q) and 607 (E), others of SRO 1220 (I)/2015. The nexus of some Customs officials, PIL Ltd and Pacific Delta has made these active provisions of law entirely redundant and they should be severely punished for the same,” the complaint said.
The complaint demanded from the FIA to take legal action against the subject accused persons, recover amounts looted by them, recover losses suffered by national exchequer to the tune of Rs. 610 billion per year and stop further losses.