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Maersk sales tax mega scam: Appeal to SC to take legal action for recovery of looted amount

Maersk sales tax mega scam: Appeal to SC to take legal action for recovery of looted amount

KARACHI: Pakistan’s biggest ever fraud of sales tax is unearthed where Maersk shipping line has evaded billions of rupees sales tax in terms of services provided to its local clients whereby the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to intervene and investigate connivance of Maersk and Sindh Revenue Board in the alleged mega scandal.
CIJ is a leading organisation of Journalists engaged in investigative journalism. It upholds great values of journalism and has conducted more than 200 investigations into various scams, frauds and corruption of Government functionaries and also of corporates. It endlessly strives to bring issues to conclusive end where recoveries of the looted amounts by Government functionaries or the corporates is of primary focus.
Within hours after a section of media exposed the biggest ever sales tax scam, Maersk line exerted pressure on Pakistani government including Danish Ambassador to Pakistan His Excellency Rolf Holmboe held an urgent meeting with Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi to pressurise him to in turn put pressure on local media to stop exposing Maersk Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. Earlier, Maersk threatened media through unscrupulous persons and letters written by unknown persons, without signatures and proper designations but put on Maersk letter heads, to hush up the Rs 15 billion demurrage and detention scam.
According to the application ref#164/CIJ/10/2018 sent on 27-10-18 by the CIJ appealed the apex court to take legal action, recovering losses of tens of billions of rupees due to the national exchequer per year while also stopping such further losses in the biggest mega scam of sales tax on services fraud from the accused persons including SØREN SKOU, CLAUS V. HEMMINGSEN, SØREN TOFT, VINCENT CLERCP, MORTEN H. ENGELSTOFT, others of Maersk Line; 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 and relevant officials of Sindh Revenue Board involved in the mega scam directly or in connivance with the same.
As per the application, “The nexus of some Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) staff and shipping lines like Maersk Line along with its agent Maersk Pakistan Private Limited, including its owners, managers, staff as mentioned in the subject are making illegal money through malpractice and defrauding the Sindh Revenue Board of tens of billions of rupees by not paying Sales Tax on services offered at the rate of 13% (evidence documents regarding its applicability attached and also details given on SRB website). Shipping company agent Maersk Pakistan Private Limited is providing shipping and other services in Pakistan to various importers and exporters. Therefore, they are liable to pay service tax to SRB at the rate of 13% as per SRB Notification No. 3-4/20/2017. As per the attached documents the Commissioner II of the Sindh Revenue Board was bound by the Notification No. 3-4/20/2017 to collect sales tax on services from the shipping lines as mentioned in point 15 of the table which is also available on the official website of Sindh Revenue Board http://www.srb.gos.pk/contents/Notifications/SRB-3-4.20.2017.PDF”.
“The subject accused have gone so far in their criminal activities that it can be found that Maersk Pakistan Private Limited is issuing ‘benaami’ bills without sales tax numbers, without publishing its own name on the bills and giving its sales tax numbers. This is clear violation of the laws to cause losses of billions of rupees and evade the applicable provincial sales tax on the services offered,” the application said.
“When complaints are made to Sindh Revenue Board then they do not take action against the subject accused which is mandatory under provisions of law. The nexus of subject accused have made these active provisions of law entirely redundant and they should be severely punished for the same,” the application said.
The application demanded, “Therefore, it is prayed that legal action be taken against the subject accused persons, amounts looted by them be recovered, losses suffered by national exchequer to the tune of tens of billions of rupees per year be recovered from them, and further losses be stopped immediately”.
It is pertinent to mention here that the NAB and the FIA already 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’ demurrage and detention charges.