Collector Appraisement-West to file reference against FIA before Member Customs

KARACHI: Severe resentment is evident among the Customs officers and officials against Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for lodging an FIR against Customs officials in violation of Section 217 of Customs Act.
A delegation comprising Principal Appraisers and Appraisers called on Mohammad Saleem, Collector Appraisement-West and registered their protest against the harassment by FIA.
Saleem also expressed his concerns against the victimization of Customs officials by FIA and lodging of FIR in violation of Customs Act.
He informed the delegates that he would submit a reference with the Member Customs, Nisar Mohammad Khan mentioning all the details of the case, particularly that the FIR was lodged against violation of the Act as section 217 provides that it is mandatory for FIA to obtain approval from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) prior to taking any action against Customs officials.
The FIR says that customs officials with the help of senior officers lured public to get them foreign visais and took their passports and later imported cars on these passports.
The FIR has also nominated Javed Raza, who is the President of Pakistan Appraising Officers Association and is on ex-Pakistan leave for one and a half year.
It may be mentioned here that in the certain case in which Javed Raza has been nominated, he was not even holding that office, which was evident from the fact that Principal Appraiser, Noor Mohammad Niazi had signed the goods declaration.
Sources said that the case was engineered by FIA in March 2011 and FIA was sitting on the case since then and was asking money from customs officers but their demands were not met so they lodged the FIR.
It is worth mentioning here that two days ago Assistant Collector Mukhtar Shaikh, ex-president of the Association along with Appraising Officer Kausar Hussain and Examiner Fayyaz had a meeting with FIA investigating officer and briefed them about the details of the case.

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