FIR lodged against importer, agent and Customs officials

KARACHI: Directorate of Customs Intelligence & Investigation (Enforcement) has booked several persons including M/s Khurram Iqbal of M/s Khurram Steel Mills and Malik Jamshed Javed of M/s Orient Enterprises for smuggling contraband and miscellaneous goods in the garb of iron/steel re-melt-able scrap.

According to the details, information was received that the above mentioned accused in collusion with their other accomplices are involved in fraudulent clearance of fabric, mobiles accessories and other dutiable goods in the garb of import of iron/steel re-melt-able scrap, from MCC Port Qasim inflicting colossal revenue loss to the public exchequer.

Staff of Directorate General, Intelligence and Investigation-FBR, (Customs Enforcement), Karachi kept vigilance watch on the consignments being imported by the above named importers. The staff identified three consignments imported by M/s Khurram Steel Mills and sough clearance through clearing agents, M/s Orient Enterprises. The duty and taxes were paid and the same were assigned to gate out, through Green channel and having been out of charge from the Customs.

The consignments were blocked online and the physical examination found the consignment consisting of polyester ladies grey fabric, cosmetics, mobile chargers, hair preparations, hair spray and calculators.

Offending value of the goods has been worked out to be Rs18.185 million involving evasion of Rs9.347 million.

It has also been observed that despite clearance through Green channel, Goods Declaration was routed for assessment to the Assessing officer and Principal Appraiser which was, respectively, completed by Appraising Officer Akbar Khan Chandio and Principal Appraiser Asad Aleem,  without referring the same for approval of physical examination to ascertain its actual contents. The aspect as to how the Green channel GD was marked for assessment is to be ascertained during further investigation.

It is relevant to add here that after deposit of duty/taxes and assigning to gate out through Green channel, GDs were blocked online. However, it was observed that Principal Appraiser Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (R&D) created examination of all the three GDs in the small hours of December 09, 2016, which is ample proof of his malafide and connivance with the importer and clearing agents.

It may be mentioned here that consignment declared to be scrap are subject to 100% examination, which did not happen in this case.

The FIR lodged has established that Khurram Iqbal of M/s Khurram Steel Mills, Malik Jamshed Javed of M/s Orient Enterprises in collusion with Principal Appraisers Asad Aleem, Mohammad Ibrahim Khan and Appraising Officer Akbar Khan Chandio and their other accomplices in crime indulged in smuggling miscellaneous goods in the garb of iron/steel scrap and inflicted colossal loss to public exchequer. Investigations are underway.

The assessment staff at Appraisement South starts suffering due to the inappropriate policy directives issued by Chief Collector South Abdul Rasheed Shaikh.

Abdul Rasheed Shaikh recently issued these directives to minimize examination of imported consignments and also advised the assessment staff to refrain from calling documents from importers and clearing agents.

Three GDs were filed through Green Channel and one GD was filed from Yellow Channel, which Principal Appraiser Asad Aleem forwarded to Green Channel as the profile of the importer was very good and as per the directives of Chief Collector.

These developments have created a confusion among the assessment staff and it has increased the work load on Deputy Collectors and Assistant Collectors because the assessment staff are referring the Goods Declarations to Deputy Collectors and Assistant Collectors.

The assessment staff is faced with double jeopardy because if they follow the directives of Chief Collector and clear consignments with minimum examination, there may be FIRs against them and if they continue with examination, this would enrage the Chief Collector.

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