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Importers to approach FIA, NAB against blackmailing by Evergreen, Greenpak, KMTC, United Marine, PICT

Importers to approach FIA, NAB against blackmailing by Evergreen, Greenpak, KMTC, United Marine, PICT

KARACHI: A few shipping lines, their agents with connivance of PICT are blackmailing importers to get additional demurrage and detention charges in sheer violation of the terms agreed between both parties. These shipping lines with the help of some senior customs officials are robbing businessmen to the tune of Rs 15 billion per year. Importers have finally knocked the doors of law to get speedy justice.
Sources said innocent importers of Pakistan get trapped by seeing these low rates offered by agents of these shipping companies. When the goods are given to the shipping lines in China then they do not give back the goods to importers at Pakistani ports. They start demanding additional very high demurrage and detention charges. Law under SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 explains that shipping companies cannot charge any demurrage and detention where specifically it is not agreed and also specifically not mentioned on the B/L (Bill of lading).
As per details, “importers, through their shipper/agents in China, handed the goods to KMTC Ltd. as trust to be delivered and released here at PICT, Karachi. The shipping lines nominated M/S United Marine Agencies (Private) Limited as their agents at Karachi for the same while the company PICT Ltd. took custody of the goods as trust at PICT port, Karachi. Importers also long back paid in full to the shipping lines the ocean freight charges as agreed between the parties. But despite repeated reminders and visiting office of M/S United Marine Agencies (Private) Limited and of PICT Ltd., they did not release the goods yet”.
Importers told Customs Today, “they are suffering heavily daily due to non-availability of their goods, along with reputation loss & loss of customers, etc. and also the goods quality is deteriorating daily which leads to total loss very soon if the goods are not disposed in the markets”.
Importers said, “The actions of KMTC Ltd. through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Jong Seug Park, Yong Hwa Shin, others and of M/S United Marine Agencies (Private) Limited through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Manzoor Ahmed, Lars Tore Bergstrom, Lars GoranSafverstrom, Mohammad A Dhamee, Sohail Shams,Rishad Kirmani, MohsinLodhi, others and of PICT Ltd. through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Haleem Siddiqui, Christian R. Gonzalez, Roman Felipe S. Reyes, Aasim Azim Siddiqui, Rafael D. Consing Jr., Gordon Alan P Joseph, Hans-Ole Madsen, Sharique Azim Siddiqui, Khurram Aziz Khan, Muhammad Hunain, Junaid Qureshi, Shujaat Hussain,others, individually and jointly, tantamount to conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief to cause losses, threatening, etc. which attract penal sections under PPC 34, 407, 409, 420, 427, 506, besides others.”
Importers told Customs Today that they give goods as trust (amaanat) to the shipping lines but these companies hold their ‘amaanat’ illegally and blackmail them to pay heavy amounts of charges and thus these shipping lines & agents make good wealth through criminal means.
In another similar incident, “Importers firm, through their shipper, handed the goods to Evergreen Line as trust to be delivered and released to them here at PICT, Karachi. The shipping lines nominated M/S Greenpak Shipping (Private) Limited as their agents at Karachi for the same while the company PICT Ltd. took custody of the goods as trust at PICT port, Karachi. Importers also long back paid in full to the shipping lines the ocean freight charges as agreed between the parties. But despite repeated reminders and visiting office of M/S Greenpak Shipping (Private) Limited and of PICT Ltd., they did not release the goods yet”.
Importers said, “The actions of Evergreen Line through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Chang Cheng-Yung, Chang Kuo-Hua, Chang Kuo- Ming, Ko Lee-Ching, Lee Mong-Jye, Hsieh Huey-Chuan, others and of M/S Greenpak Shipping (Private) Limited through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Javed Iqbal, Mohammad Reza Ghaem Maghami, Safdar Hussain Mehkri, Syed Qamar ul Hasan, Abdul Hamid, others and of PICT Ltd. through its owners, management and staff including but not limited to Haleem Siddiqui, Christian R. Gonzalez, Roman Felipe S. Reyes, Aasim Azim Siddiqui, Rafael D. Consing Jr., Gordon Alan P Joseph, Hans-Ole Madsen, Sharique Azim Siddiqui, Khurram Aziz Khan, Muhammad Hunain, Junaid Qureshi, Shujaat Hussain, others, individually and jointly, tantamount to conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, mischief to cause losses, threatening, etc. which attract penal sections under PPC 34, 407, 409, 420, 427, 506, besides others.”
Importers have finally lodged complaints against these shipping lines, their agents and PICT and approached FIA and NAB so that these fraudsters are stopped to blackmail genuine importers by demanding ‘illegal’ additional charges.
Importers further revealed that another section 14A of the Customs Act, 1969 says the port (like PICT port) cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gives a certificate to importer called the ‘delay and detention certificate’. But despite this certificate, PICT illegally holds goods of importers and charges them heavy amounts as demurrage.
A source from a shipping line told Customs Today that around Rs 15 billion is illegally earned by the shipping companies and the ports like PICT per year. Documents received by CT show active connivance of shipping companies like Evergreen line, KMTC and the agents of these shipping lines here in Pakistan like Greenpak shipping for Evergreen Line and United Marine Agencies for KMTC along with the connivance of PICT.
Sources said, in fact, the shipping lines should at least have a small office in Pakistan because they are taking thousands of containers from Pakistan importers but they do not have such office here rather only small agents are working in Pakistan who harass the importers by saying that ‘we are only agents and not parent shipping lines so if you have some problems then go to the parent shipping lines and ask for your containers’.
Importers appealed to the NAB and the FIA to take prompt action against this scam jointly planned and executed by shipping lines, their agents and PICT.