MULTAN: Blackmailing of Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for charging exorbitant demurrage and detention charges should be stopped and their shipping license for operations must be cancelled for violation of SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 in order to protect the genuine importers.
It was stated by Tax Consultant of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Member Multan Tax Bar Association Syed Khalid Javed during his exclusive interview with Customs Today.
He said that worst business situation is prevailing in the country due to rising cost of doing business, energy crisis & security issues. Obstacles for clearance of shipments at the port due to blackmailing of Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are damaging our image to attract foreign investment in the country.
He said that corruption of shipping companies like Maersk Line for charging illegal demurrage and detention charges is converting into frightening situation for importers across the country and it is destroying our image in the world. He said that genuine importers are facing harassment for clearance of their shipments and it is restricting importers to stop their clearance.
He expressed that corrupt practice of Maersk Line to charge exorbitant charges for detention and demurrage must be dealt with severe punishment. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf government must take strict action against them to discourage other shipping companies from taking bribes by setting examples. He said that if the government fails to make an example of those who openly violate rule and set principles, and things would unfortunately become worst.
He said that Pakistan has around half a dozen anti-corruption bodies but they failed to protect the genuine importers against the blackmailing of Maersk Line and even importers of South Punjab also faced harassment and blackmailing.
Pakistan is a country where business community faced problems and exploitation at the time of clearance from Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, putting a far-reaching impact at the domestic level which projected a bad image for Pakistan across the world, he added.
He suggested that government should bring reforms in the clearance system and regulate all shipping companies to prevent importers from their blackmailing, otherwise it will spoil the existing business environment of the country.
He demanded that anti-corruption laws should take active role in order to eliminate the corruption because it is the root cause of destruction of running business and government should ban Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan due to their extortion on shipments in form of detention and demurrage charges.
It is important to mention here that Maersk Line and its subsidiary M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are allegedly harassing and blackmailing importers and violating of SRO 1220(I)/ 2015.
In a move to cancel the licenses of Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, importers have written a letter to Chief Collector Enforcement and Collector Customs Preventive to take necessary legal action against Maersk Line and its subsidiary Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for violating SRO 1220 (I)/2015.
Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) received a complaint seeking probe to ascertain role of employees of Maersk Line in country’s biggest shipping scandal involving 610 billion rupees.
Importers lodged application against Maersk Line and its subsidiary in Pakistan Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd for conspiracy, cheating and criminal breach of trust under PPC 407, 409, 420, 427, 506 and others so that these fraudsters are stopped to blackmail genuine importers by demanding ‘illegal’ additional charges.
The complaint received by the NAB and 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 Maersk Line and M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd including Søren Skou, Claus V. Hemmingsen, Søren Toft, Vincent Clercp, Morten H. Engelstoft, others of Maersk Line and Arslan Khan, Hazanfar Khan, Raheel Salim, Maqsood Ul Hasan Khan, Fuad Khan, Hasan Faraz, Shakeel Masih, Omer Khan, Ali Jawad Alvi, Zafar Iqbal, Ayesha Chowdhry, Zahid Hussain, Salman Ahmad, Aamir Ali, Umais Aziz Khan, Mohammed Naeem, Farheen Mahmud, Mubasshar Iqbal, Affaq Syed, Syed Mohammad Abbas Jafri, Muhammad Tanveer Sharif, Salman Ateeq, Hamza Haq, Ziad Mahboob, Aamir Ibrahim, Yasir Saeed Khan, Amal Sadiq Dawood, Effat Mehmood, Maria Urooj, Zain Warsi, Mehreen Zulfiqar, Awais Saleem, Zafar Iqbal, Syed Osman Iqbal Zaidi, Anum Yaqub, Fahad Ali, Obaid Iqbal, Zahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Danish Siddiqui, Amir Arif, Arshad Ayub, Syed Mudassir Ali, Syed Hammad Hussain, Ayesha Qadri, Sheikh Samiullah, others of M/S Maersk Pakistan Private Limited.