KARACHI: NAB Regional Board authorized inquiry against CEO of United Marine Agency Sohail Shams and management of KMTC in a mega detention scam worth billions.
Sources said these officials of shipping lines and their agents with the help of some senior customs officials are robbing businessmen to the tune of Rs 15 billion per year. Innocent importers of Pakistan get trapped by seeing these low rates offered by agents of these shipping companies. When the goods are given to the shipping lines in China then they do not give back the goods to importers at Pakistani ports. They start demanding additional very high detention charges. Law under SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 explains that shipping companies cannot charge any detention where specifically it is not agreed and also specifically not mentioned on the B/L (Bill of lading).
The complaint received by NAB said, “They, through their shipper/agents in China, handed the goods to KMTC Ltd. as trust to be delivered and released here at Karachi ports. The shipping lines nominated M/S United Marine Agencies (Private) Limited as their agents at Karachi for the same. 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, they did not release the goods yet”.
The complaint 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, 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 complaint said, furthermore, under rules 603 (Q), 603 (R), 604 (Q) and 607 (E), others of SRO 1220 (I)/2015, the shipping lines cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges where it is not specifically written on the B/L. But still in violation of these rules and laws, the shipping lines fearlessly hold the containers of the importers and charge them exorbitant detention charges. These detention charges even exceed the actual cost of container by a whopping 1,000%!
Now the NAB has authorised inquiry against this complaint.