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NAB takes action on green channel mega scam after Customs Today’s extensive coverage
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NAB takes action on green channel mega scam after Customs Today’s extensive coverage

KARACHI: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken custody of clearing agents Muhammad Idress s/o Yousaf, Muhammad Ali s/o Muhammad Idress and Imran Khan s/o Saifur Rahman from Central Jail Karachi in a corruption scam. These suspects were already in the custody of the customs court for evading taxes and duties to the tune of Rs74,036,216.

On 12 September 2019, Senior Superintendent Central Jail Karachi informed the customs court that above-mentioned suspects were handed over to NAB Karachi for interrogation in good health condition as per medical certificate issued by medical officer of Central Jail.

According to the interim charge sheet submitted in customs court against Imran owner of M/s Al-Aswed Associates, Muhammad Irfan of M/s ERA Marine Agencies, Ihtishaam and Muhammad Idress of M/s SHUFS Logistics, Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Ahsan, Muzamil and others, information was received that above-mentioned accused actually imported a consignment of used clothing 16600 kgs from United Kingdom contrary to actual port of loading Jabel Ali, UAE.

He further stated that information further revealed that the importers in active connivance with their clearing agents and other accomplices have mis-declared description, quantity, origin and classification of the imported goods by submitting false, fake and fabricated information to evade legitimate government revenue.

He disclosed that during the examination of said consignment, customs officials found multi-function printers, used laptops, laptops cables, smartphones, used LG tablets with SIMs and other goods with a total value of Rs 70,874,595.

Investigation officer said in his charge sheet that during the investigation, it was revealed that above-mentioned importers submitted incorrect information and committed a fraud by issuing false bill of lading by mentioning port of loading as London Gateway instead of actual port of loading Jabel Ali UAE, therefore a case was registered against them for violation of Customs Act 1969, and for giving incorrect information to defraud customs as well as national exchequer. According to the charge sheet, Imran Haroon and Muhammad Irfan are confined in Central Jail Karachi and 6 suspects are still absconders in this case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken action against accused involved in mega green channel scam case after Customs Today’s coverage of the scandal, inflicting heavy loss on the exchequer. Customs Today has been extensively reporting the green channel abuse in the country, after which the NAB came into action and decided to tighten the noose around green channel smugglers.

According to details, the NAB issued non-bailable arrest warrants of accused Muhammad Idrees son of Yousuf bearing CNIC # 42301-6816256-9, Muhammad Ali son of Muhammad Idrees bearing CNIC # 42301-7975350-0 and Imran Khan son of Saif-ur-Rehman bearing CNIC # 42201-6884666-7 for causing huge loss to national kitty.

Sources told Customs Today that NAB Additional Director after approval of DG NAB Karachi, Brig Farooq Nasir Awan (retd), who has been actively pursuing cases of mega corruption including green channel scam, has written to the Superintendent, Central Jail, Jail Chowrangi, Karachi, for execution of warrants of arrests-inquiry against officials/officers of Customs Department and others regarding illegal import of electronics and grey fabrics in the garb of second hand clothing, causing loss to national exchequer.

DG NAB Karachi

DG NAB Karachi, Brig Farooq Nasir Awan (retd)

 

Sources said, the high value goods were being cleared from Appraisement East in the garb of used clothing without examination. On credible info, Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) of MCC Preventive Karachi detected the case and Deputy Collector Akbar Jan efficiently pursuing the investigations arrested the accused Aslam. Aslam was arrested after an already arrested accused Imran Khan shared information with the ASO team including IPS Iftikhar Hasan. Imran Khan was arrested from Askari-IV for clearing restricted goods in the garb of used clothing without examination. He is also involved in fraudulent removal of seized/confiscated containers and replacement of transshipment cargo, sources said.

Sources said around 80 containers of electronics were cleared through mis-declaration. After that Appraisement East lodged an FIR pertaining to a container, which already was stopped by ASO Preventive. Now the NAB is pursuing this green channel misuse case and issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Muhammad Idrees, Muhammad Ali and Imran Khan.

It is pertinent to mention that Customs Today covered the Rs 1000 billion green channel scam since past many years. Mega brands like QMobile were reported to be grossly abusing Green Channel facility. Customs Today exposed mega smuggling scam of Digicom Company (Q-Mobile) as the company cleared more than 750 containers through green channel. Customs Today unearthed illegal clearance of mobiles, electronics, liquor, cigarettes, betel nuts and explosive chemicals through green channel but ‪FBR did not take any action. Later on, DG customs candidly admitted that green channel is ‘mercilessly misused’.

Extensive research revealed that an FBR official at one instance has mentioned to media on how many containers are released under green channel without scanning or examination. The FBR official said that 700,000 consignments were released under green channel. He tried not to tell the number of containers. But experts say that each consignment is made up of 4 to 20 containers. Even if we take an average on the lower side then too it will be around 7 containers per consignment. This means 700,000 consignments x 7 containers per consignment = around 49 lac containers. The kind of system made in green channel in Pakistan is obviously made so that the rich and powerful people can pay money to get into the green channel and mint billions of rupees at the cost of national economy.

These reports of Customs Today led to multiple raids, tens of FIRs and recoveries of illegally cleared goods worth billions of rupees. In fact, in a single raid at a SITE area godown, 600,000 kgs of betel nuts worth Rs 1.5 billion were seized. Customs Today also published investigative reports about changing of strategies by green channel smugglers as they started clearing illegal goods through yellow channel & TP. Random checking which is happening in green channel of the other countries happens in yellow channel in Pakistan. In fact, other countries scan 100% of their goods in green channel and in Pakistan scanning is not there even in yellow channel! This is why there is so much of misuse of yellow channel in Pakistan.

After so much coverage by Customs Today over misuse of green channel facility at Karachi ports, the Chief Justice of Pakistan and NAB Chairman had taken the notice of the scam and asked the FBR to submit the report in this regard.