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Sambrial ASO officials accused of receiving graft from legal importers

Sambrial ASO officials accused of receiving graft from legal importers

Collector Rauf vows to take notice and address the issue

LAHORE: The Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) of Sambrial is allegedly harassing and threatening the importers to get illegal gratification.

The importers, on the condition of anonymity, said that on Monday night, the ASO of Collectorate of Symbriyal, established a picket near Kamoke and took a number of legally imported goods to their office at the Pindi Bypass, near Gujranwala.

The importers alleged they were asked to pay Rs 10,000 for each truck, but they secured the release of their legally imported and cleared goods by paying from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 for each truckload.

The importers claimed almost 40 to 50 trucks were intercepted by the ASO on the picket and received the money for every truckload. They said that the importers, who refused to pay the bribe, were harassed and threatened to be involved in undue legal formalities.

The importers said that as per sections 25 and 32 of Customs Act, the ASO and Customs Intelligence and Investigation were not authorised to carry any vehicle loaded with the customs cleared goods to their premises but only check the smuggled goods being transported. They urged the top customs officials to take stock of the situation to save the legal trading.

When Customs Today contacted Collector of Customs Sambrial Ahmed Rauf for his version on the story, he said that the allegations were baseless and if the customs officials of his Collectoarte were involved in the practice of receiving graft he would take stern action against them.