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Licenses of KMTC, United Marine Agencies to be cancelled in Rs. 610 billion scandal

Licenses of KMTC, United Marine Agencies to be cancelled in Rs. 610 billion scandal

KARACHI: Corrupt shipping line KMTC and its agents in Pakistan, United Marine Agencies (Pvt) Ltd, are harassing and disturbing genuine importers through illegal holding & blocking of their imported goods for the sake of demanding additional demurrage and detention charges in violation of relevant customs laws.

Sources said such corrupt shipping companies are allegedly involved in Rs 610 billion mega scandal and their licenses could be cancelled for violating the set rules & laws. These shipping lines and their agents are deliberately holding the containers for minting illegal money and causing huge losses to the national exchequer by slowing down of revenue generation.

Sources said some importers have already filed 13 applications to lodge FIRs against these shipping lines and their agents including Deputy MD of Greenpak Abdul Rauf, CEO of United Marine Agencies Sohail Shams, COO PICT Khurram Aziz Khan and Chairman Marine Group Capt. Haleem Siddiqui, for demanding additional demurrage and detention charges from importers.

Haleem-Siddiqui

Haleem Siddiqui, Chairman Marine Group

 

Sources stressed that these shipping lines and their agents cannot demand additional demurrage and detention charges under SRO 1220(I)/2015 and Section 14A of the Customs Act, 1969. 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). Section 14A of the Customs Act, 1969 says the port (like PICT port) cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gives a ‘delay and detention certificate’ to importer. But despite this certificate, KMTC and its agents hold goods of importers and charge them heavy amounts as demurrage.

Sources said importers, through shipper/their agents in China, handed the goods to KMTC Line as trust to be delivered and released to them here at PICT, Karachi, by their nominated agents United Marine Agencies at Karachi. Even importers have already paid in full to the shipping lines the ocean freight charges as agreed between the parties. But the agents have not released their goods yet.

Sources said now United Marine Agencies has verbally refused to release their goods and started illegally demanding additional charges in shape of demurrage/detention that were never agreed earlier. They are losing daily due to non-availability of the said goods, reputation loss, loss of customers, etc. and also the goods quality is deteriorating daily and will lead to total loss very soon if the goods are not disposed in the markets.

Sources said actions of these shipping lines and their agents, individually and severally, tantamount to breach of trust, cheating, mischief to cause losses, threatening, etc. which attract penal sections under PPC 407, 409, 420, 427, 506, others.

Importers asserted that failure to release the above goods through issuance of delivery order will only compel them to take necessary legal action against these corrupt shipping lines and their agents in Pakistan.

Importers also demanded that United Marine Agencies (Pvt.) Ltd should waive off 100% of charges including demurrage and detention as none of these charges were specifically agreed between both the parties which is necessary under the law to put any such charges on importers. {Refer Rules 603(q), 603(r), 604(p), 604(q) & 607(e), others under SRO 1220/ 2015}.

Importers further said if United Marine Agencies (agents of KMTC) did not comply with its obligation of waving 100% charges of detention and demurrage, then necessary legal action will be taken under the law as also prescribed in section 156(1) 7A of the Customs Act, 1969 which includes penalty on United Marine Agencies (Pvt.) Ltd and also cancellation of license of United Marine Agencies (Pvt.) Ltd under SRO 1220(I)/2015.

In another similar complaint, “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.”