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NAB, FIA asked to probe lappoos set up by Abdul Rauf, Sohail Shams, Haleem Siddiqui in detention mega scandal

NAB, FIA asked to probe lappoos set up by Abdul Rauf, Sohail Shams, Haleem Siddiqui in detention mega scandal

KARACHI: A mega scam of Rs 15 billion is unearthed where customs staff in connivance with shipping companies, their agents and terminal operator including Evergreen Line, Greenpak Shipping, United Marine Agencies, KMTC and PICT purposely delay the clearances of imported goods.

Sources said Customs staff made a strong nexus with Deputy MD of Greenpak Abdul Rauf, CEO of United Marine Agency Sohail Shams, COO PICT Khurram Aziz Khan and Chairman Marine Group Capt. Haleem Siddiqui who was once director of PICT, to harass and blackmail the importers.

Sources said importers are forced to pay ‘speed money’ to the customs staff at the first hand so that the goods are not further delayed. After looting of importers by customs staff, then comes the turn of the shipping lines & container terminals (PICT) which have set up a network of illegal agents called ‘lappoos’ who approach the already aggrieved importers. The shipping lines and PICT Ltd. first give invoices to these importers with exorbitant amounts like Rs 15 lacs per container for the delay.

Sources said it is surprising that under what law the shipping lines, their agents and the container terminal are charging huge amounts to the importer for the delay caused by customs staff? Many a times the goods cost is say of Rs. 15 lacs and the charges put up by the shipping lines and the container terminals is even more than Rs. 15 lacs! These illegal agents of Evergreen Line, Greenpak Shipping, United Marine Agencies, KMTC and PICT called ‘lappoos’ approach the aggrieved importers with offers to reduce the charges by 20-30%. Instead of the exorbitant charge of Rs. 15 lacs, now the figure comes to Rs 10 Lacs which is also very high.

Sources said when the importer agrees to pay this extortion amount of Rs 10 lacs, his goods are not released yet. Now the ‘lappoos’ of shipping companies and terminal demand 50% commission from the importer on the amount saved by the importer from the charges. First the importer refuses but then he has no choice if he has to receive his own goods. If the importer refuses then his goods are auctioned off even after paying huge duties, taxes and ‘speed money’ to the customs staff.

It is pertinent to mention here that various 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 Agency Sohail Shams, COO PICT Khurram Aziz Khan and chairman Marine Group Capt. Haleem Siddiqui.

Haleem-Siddiqui

Haleem Siddiqui, Chairman Marine Group

In a complaint, importers said, “They, 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 further 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 Goran Safverstrom, Mohammad A Dhamee, Sohail Shams, Rishad Kirmani, Mohsin Lodhi, 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.”

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.”

The importers have also appealed to the Chairman NAB and DG FIA to take notice of this nexus of corrupt customs officials, Deputy MD of Greenpak Abdul Rauf, CEO of United Marine Agency Sohail Shams, COO PICT Khurram Aziz Khan, chairman Marine Group Capt. Haleem Siddiqui and ‘lappoos’ and take criminal action against these culprits in the best interest of business community of Pakistan.