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Smuggling of Rs 100m carried out daily thru Afghan Transit route: sources

Smuggling of Rs 100m carried out daily thru Afghan Transit route: sources

KARACHI: The smuggling of around Rs 100 million is being carried out daily through Afghan Transit Trade (ATT), it was learnt here.

The highly informed sources while sharing their views with Customs Today have disclosed that 95 percent of smuggling of goods including tiles, diesel, cloths, tea, tyres and others is being carried out through Afghan Transit Trade.

The sources revealed that ‘Sheela Bagh’ check-post near Chaman border is among one of the burning spots where the smuggled goods are being transported to Quetta and then Karachi while the smuggled goods are also being loaded on the retrograde containers on returning from Afghanistan near ‘Waish’ Border.

They further disclosed that the smugglers have strong nexus with the security personnel of Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Customs officials at different check-posts and the biltee of smuggled consignments under the smugglers’ name is being cleared from different check-posts easily without any checking.

The sources claimed that 60per cent of smuggling would be curtailed, if strict surveillance and vigilance would be conducted at ‘Sheela Bagh check-post near Chaman Border. They further recommended the authorities concerned of FBR to form joint examination teams comprising of the personnel of Pakistan Customs, Coast Guards and Rangers at National Highway, RCD and Superhighway in order to eliminate smuggling of goods. They further said that the Quetta to Karachi Bus Terminal and Northern Bypass are two more “deliberately” vulnerable spots where the smuggled goods are easily coming into Karachi.

When contacted, Incharge Anti-Smuggling Organisation (ASO) of the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation-FBR Karachi region Haji Muhammad Aslam confirmed the estimated fiscal figure involved in smuggling of goods from Sheela Bagh Check-Post on daily basis and said that the smugglers’ cartel with the strong alliance of authorities concerned at the check-posts, particularly the “Sheela Bagh” check-post are conducted their unlawful activities.

Incharge ASO-DIT Karachi Region stressed upon strong and effective tracking system on Afghan Transit Trade route to curb smuggling activities.

To a query, Haji Aslam said that the ASO-Karachi region has clear directives from the Director General-Directorate General of Customs Investigation and Intelligence-FBR Lutfullah Virk and Director DIT-Karachi Region Muhammad Asif Marghoob Siddiqui to bust the smugglers’ gang by eliminating smuggling activities and the ASO-DIT Karachi Region has already made the time for smugglers’ difficult in carrying out their illegal activities.