MULTAN: Importers in all over the country, especially from the Southern Punjab, are facing problems in the shipment of their consignments from Port Qasim at the hands of a few corrupt officials of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation in Sukkur region, importers allege.
The corrupt officials of the Customs Intelligence stop the consignments of genuine importers even after those are cleared from the Customs authorities at Port Qasim, importers said, adding that the corrupt officials stop the consignments in the name of checking and blackmail the importers to get illegal gratification.
The consignments of the genuine importers are cleared after payment of all duties and taxes at the Port Qasim, but are withheld by the corrupt officials for bribe, they said.
Due to blackmailing of several customs employees, the importers are forced to pay bribe of Rs 20,000 per container which moves from Karachi through Sukkur region.
Almost 500 container are transported through Sukkur region and a few corrupt Customs Intelligence employees charge bribe on each container for giving them safe passage and they collect billions of rupees illegal revenue from legitimate importers.
This is one of the common practices of few Customs Intelligence employees and they are working like a mafia in the department who are defaming the whole department and honest officials of Customs and the Federal Board of Revenue.
Sometime genuine importers refused to pay bribe to Customs Intelligence staff because they imported their goods through legal channel after proper clearance and implementing whole procedure of clearance then they face groundless charges of detention, misdeclaration, tax evasion and seizure cases.
Corruption of few Customs Intelligence employees made import of any legitimate consignments almost impossible for genuine importers in this hostile condition. Import consignments are repeatedly detained by Customs Intelligence and Investigation staff in the Sukkur region to blackmail importers for the kickbacks without any reason.
According to importers these corrupt employees of Customs Intelligence and Investigation are distracting legally cleared consignments regularly from Karachi Port Qasim due to their unethical practices.
Importers who cleared their import shipments after adopting proper procedure of clearance and examination of customs are disturbed in the Sukkur region for kickbacks. Legally cleared consignments of importers are stopped in the Sukkur territory by corrupt Superintendent DIT Customs Abdul Razak Samhejo and Intelligence Officer DIT Customs Liaqat Ali.
Recently few days , Customs Intelligence and Investigation Sukkur region seized import consignments of M/s Kanwal Impex containing Beetal Nuts of 5000 Kilogram , Bankets of M/s Bed & Blankets, Wazir Ali & Company consignments of Polyproplyene, Almonds consignments of M/s Naqeebullah & Brothers were seized by greedy Intelligence Officer DIT Customs Liaqat Ali and Superintendent DIT Abdul Razak Samhejo. Said importers categorically refused to pay any bribe on their lawful shipments and they face seizure. But these shipments were unconditionally release after direction of court and there was no action taken against these corrupt officials who motivate their greed further and they continue their bribe collection work in the Sukkur region on larger level and openly to upset importers.
Corruption of these corrupt elements still continues and it goes on peak and they have recently seized container of M/s Prime Movers whose owner was M/s Jan Builder and shipment of cloth whose importer was M/s Hassan Fabrics on charges of smuggling and mis-declaration which were also released unconditionally but Federal Board of Revenue and Director General Customs Intelligence has not taken any serious notice against these corrupt employees and importers are also blaming in this worst situation that they are also giving handsome share of bribe to their High Ups to prevent any investigation and action on their large scale corruption .
It is also depressing for legitimate importers that they are paying duty taxes for clearance of their shipments and they are fulfilling their appropriate national responsibility but these corrupt employees are damaging national economy by promoting smuggling through charging bribe or discouraging importers in the country due to their criminal attitude.