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Govt must ensure early modernisation of Pak Customs: Tariq Huda

Govt must ensure early modernisation of Pak Customs: Tariq Huda

KARACHI: It would be disastrous if fresh recruitments are not made in Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) Preventive on a war footing basis.

This was stated by Collector MCC Preventive S. M. Tariq Huda during an exclusive interview with Customs Today at his office.

“New recruitments of chemists, IT specialists, analysts and other professionals should be made within couple of years”, he added.

The Collector MCC Preventive said the government should acknowledge that Pakistan Customs has been playing a significant role in boosting up economy, industry, internal security and foreign reserves of the country, adding that intellectual property rights, foreign reserves and internal security of the country could be protected due to powerful Customs Department.

Commenting on the entire system of Pakistan Customs, Collector MCC Preventive Tariq Huda said that the dynamics of operations have changed entirely in the world and similarly, the data profiling is also being changed dramatically. The federal government should have to sense the speedy change of intelligence system in the entire world and ensure modernization of Pakistan Customs at par with international system.

“We need latest equipment and own resources to carry out anti-smuggling operations in sea without the assistance of any Law Enforcing Agencies (LEAs), adding that the causeway at ports has not yet constructed which also creates hurdles in conducting operations in port areas”, the Collector MCC Preventive added.

Replying to a question, Tariq Huda said that the Command and Control Room (CCR) was working efficiently round the clock in any operation conducted by Enforcement Collectorate and the recent operation at Northern Bypass in which Pakistan Customs and other LEAs demolished 48 illegal petrol pumps and seized thousands of litres smuggled POL products, was the latest example of CCR’s effectiveness.

removed illegally-installed machinery and seized thousands of litters of smuggled POL products.

“Number of meetings have also been arranged by the Attorney General (AG) of Pakistan which were attended by FBR Chairman, Pakistan Rangers, DG Anti-Narcotics Force, DG Pakistan Coast Guard, DG Maritime Security Agency and Chief Secretary Sindh with a view to initiate coordinated efforts against illegal movement of contraband goods”, he added.

Commenting on inter-agency coordination, Tariq Huda asserted that the establishment of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) would be a good move by the officials concerned of all agencies, however; it should be established at the earliest.

“Data sharing from one agency to another is imperative to get better results in the future”, he added.

“We need to enhance the intelligence system among all the agencies in order to speed up the anti-smuggling operations”, Collector MCC Preventive maintained.

He further informed that the Port Control Unit (PCU) has also been established in order to keep strict vigilance on smuggling activities.

Responding to a query, Tariq Huda confirmed that Pakistan Customs with collaboration of other LEAs has completed its surveillance regarding the smugglers in Yousuf Goth and a grand operation would be launched soon against the criminals.

Collector MCC Preventive S M Huda reiterated that the operations of all the agencies are being continued against the smugglers till the final target is not yet achieved.

Answering to another question, the Collector MCC Preventive said that Pakistan Customs has also dug out and identified the mechanism of transferring the currency illegally to other countries.

“Customs Act, 1969 empowered us to gun down any aircraft in air or compel it to land, if we have the concrete information that the aircraft is carrying illegal contraband, though Pakistan Customs has not yet used its such powers and will use it in extreme conditions”, Tariq Huda added.