MULTAN: Multan Union of Journalist (MUJ) expressed deep concerns over threats being hurled to journalists and media houses for highlighting alleged mega scam by Maersk Line for charging exorbitant demurrage and detention charges from importers on clearance of their shipments.
This was stated by President Multan Union of Journalist Abdul Rauf Maan in an exclusive interview with Customs Today the other day.
He told that government should provide adequate and meaningful security to media houses, journalists and newspapers and take strict action against the culprits who threaten media for reporting irregularities of shipping companies involved in illegal collection of detention and demurrage charges. Threats to media for enlightening facts against corruption of Maersk Line aimed at deterring the ability of the press to report the truth and restrict access to information.
He said that media is the fourth pillar of the state for providing transparent information with neutrality. Media plays the role of a bridge between the people and government by highlighting flaws in the society. He thought that journalism has never been more dangerous than today due to growing intolerance in the society and journalists have never felt more unsafe before for reporting actual facts.
He appealed to whole media including print and electronic in Pakistan to stay united against unscrupulous persons who wrote letters to media houses and newspapers on Maersk letter heads to hush up the Rs.15 billion for exposing demurrage and detention scam. He demanded from government of Pakistan and departments concerned to take strict action against Maersk line for protection of journalists.
According to reports of United Nation that Pakistan is the most dangerous country for journalists but government has not taken any step for the protection of journalist to ensure freedom of press and journalist are still facing huge security risks in the country by probing corrupt practices. He said that life threats to media houses and journalists were impediments to serious journalism but we will continue our professional efforts for provision of actual facts to ensure freedom of expression.
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.
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.