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President SCCI Shinwari bashes Evergreen Line, Greenpak, United Marine Agencies, KMTC, PICT for looting importers

President SCCI Shinwari bashes Evergreen Line, Greenpak, United Marine Agencies, KMTC, PICT for looting importers

PESHAWAR: The shocking revelation of corruption by shipping companies, terminal operators and customs officials at Karachi ports has discouraged genuine importers. The Customs high-ups must take strict action against the gambling of Customs staff by blocking way of imported consignments and demanding extra charges other than mentioned the Customs Act of 1969 and SRO 1220.

This was stated by Zahid Ullah W Shinwari, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industries, while talking to Customs Today at Peshawar.

Zahid Ullah Shinwari said that PICT must also probe the staff involved in the fraud with importers causing Rs15 billion per year loss to the exchequer and the ‘evil lords’ earn billions of illegal money from the genuine importers.

The President SCCI based in Peshawar snubbed the Customs authorities and the shipping companies for deceiving the importers by stopping their legally imported consignments at port. The corruption in shipping has been very critical and the government has to do everything in order to facilitate the importers and remove the extra charges received from the importers even after producing delay and detention certificates.

The premise was that such payments which are lost due to strong connections of some customs staff with shipping companies, their agents and terminal operator including Evergreen Line, Greenpak Shipping, United Marine Agencies, KMTC and PICT, the revenue collection slows down drastically and losses to the national exchequer touch Rs 610 billion per year.

Zahid Shinwari added that besides the hidden charges by the terminal operators, Customs staff also used to demand gifts from importers to take the goods cleared from ports.

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, who harass and blackmail importers, must be stopped in order to save importers from further losses, Shinwari added.

The delay in clearance of goods is also headache for importers because the demand of goods increases day by day and they cannot keep their goods at ports for longer period, Zahid Shinwari concluded.

It is important to mention here that some 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, for demanding additional demurrage and detention charges from importers but no action has been taken against them which is worrying importers based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

A complaint filed by 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.”