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TP mega scam: Dost facilitates smuggling at port using switch B/L

TP mega scam: Dost facilitates smuggling at port using switch B/L

KARACHI: Smugglers are working hand in glove with Karachi East Collectorate R&D Principal Appraiser Dost Muhammad to smuggle goods like hazardous chemicals, betel nuts, high value and banned items. They are removing these goods through TP from Karachi East Collectorate, without any checking, with the help of Dost Muhammad, Incharge R&D Department.
TP means Transshipment Permit and it is used in smuggling of banned items from the port because TP is not checked at Karachi port. Customs officials put a seal at the door of the container as these goods would be checked at its destination like Lahore where the clearance would take place. Smugglers take the container first to their own warehouse to remove the banned goods and then replace it with iron and steel scrap and close the walls of the container. From their godown they send the container to the Lahore dry port where goods are cleared smoothly as it contains iron and steel scrap as declared at Karachi east collectorate.
R&D department is responsible to keep a check on documents and data of green channel, yellow channel, red channel to avoid any unscrupulous activity through these channels. But Dost Muhammad does nothing to stop any wrongdoing through these channels.
Sources said despite having all the data available to Dost Muhammad where he can easily catch the fraud of TP goods still he knowingly is not catching them rather he is facilitating them.
Sources said with available data, R&D Department can tell that a particular TP is fraud:
1. Port of loading can be matched with the items. It is known that certain countries export certain items. Like Bulgaria exports copper raw and cable. If an unusual product is shown imported from a port of loading that does not generally export the particular item then that TP consignment can be checked.
2. To hide the actual port of loading most of the smugglers change the exporting country name to ‘Jabel Ali’. This is called ‘switch B/L’. The goods are coming from a different location but the actual B/L is hidden by the smuggler and a new B/L is made by him and shown on record.
Most of the countries do not allow using their name as port of loading when in switch B/L. Only rare trading countries like ‘Jabel ALI’ allow such a mechanism of switch B/L. Also shipping companies are involved in it. They provide switch B/L facility specifically to only those customers who inform them that the particular item is banned at the port of destination.
If a person wants to bring betel nuts from India, he will inform the shipping company that these betel nuts are banned in Pakistan and hence he wants to have a ‘switch B/L’. The shipping companies generally do not allow ‘switch B/L’ facility but with such request they provide the facility. Now the goods would be declared as ‘iron & steel scrap’ from ‘Jabel ALI’ and will be cleared in green channel or in TP. The B/L will show that it has come from Jabel Ali. Even Jabel Ali authorities do not care and allow using their name as port of loading in the ‘switch B/L’.
But Dost Muhammad at R&D has full data and he can catch this fraud. He also has the container number with him on record. Through this container number he can exactly track from where the container has started to move. He can track the container that it moved from India but the B/L and declaration is showing Jabel Ali.
3. The weight of container is shown in R&D data from where they can identify whether the goods shown can be true. Iron and steel weight is different from cloth weight.
4. Some heavy items cannot be transported in 40 feet container. The weight is more of these items while its size is less. These items are transported only in smaller containers like 20 feet containers. When the R&D data shows such list of items coming in 40 feet then they can hold them.
When smugglers get their banned/ smuggled items at Karachi east collectorate then they know that the data is available to Dost Muhammad at R&D division of the collectorate. How is it possible that the smugglers get their billions of rupees worth of goods to the port while they know that Dost Muhammad can catch their green channel and TP goods based on that data? This is not possible unless they are assured by the relevant customs staff like here Dost Muhammad to bring the goods without worry and that their goods would not be stopped and their data would be ignored by Dost.
Without internal support of Customs staff the smugglers would never take the risk of billions of rupees worth of their goods. FBR and Customs high-ups must take prompt action to stop these illegal activities at Karachi East Collectorate.