Pakistan Customs lodges 13 FIRs in switch bill of lading scam, six will not be pursued

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs had lodged 13 FIRs against several companies for feeding of wrong port of loading into Pakistan Customs Computerized System (WeBOC) by the freight forwarder and consequent thereupon filing of GD showing incorrect port of loading and origin by the importer.

However, six out of the total 13 FIRs will not be pursued by the authorities while the rest seven FIRs are correct and Customs would go with the due process.

It transpired that Freight Forwarders/Co-loader/Shipping Agents, in connivance with accused importers, have been involved in the clearance of imported goods by mis-declaring the vital information with regard to the shipper’s name, port of loading, country of origin.

The goods were actually shipped from a different destination but the Freight Forwarders/Co-loader/Shipping Agents while filing the Import General Manifest (IGM) in Pakistan Customs Computerized System (WeBOC) fraudulently manipulated the shipper’s name and port of loading.

During the course of scrutiny it transpired that the consignments were shipped from a different location, but the master shipping agent filed the Import General Manifest (IGM) with incorrect information with ulterior motives in the Customs Computerized System at the time of filing Import General Manifest and issued manipulated Bill of Lading showing wrong shipper’s name and country of origin as China instead of actual particulars/information mentioned in the Master Bill of Lading.

During further scrutiny it has been observed that the subject goods were mis-declared to avail inadmissible concession of Pak-China FTA regime and circumvent provisions of IPO and import Indian fabric.

The authorities lodged 13 FIRs against several accused. During the proceedings of the case it was known that M/s United Marine Agencies – one of the nominated accused in 13 FIRs – had forwarded an email to the authorities highlighting the mistake in the feeding of information. But, this email was very vague in nature and sent after two months of the feeding of information in the computerized system, therefore the email was overlooked.

It may be mentioned here that Customs asked for information in March 2016 and in April M/s United Marine Agency confirmed on April 05, 2016 that the port of loading was Korea and Singapore.

Customs considered this information final and continued with the process. However on June 14, 2016 sent another email without a caption which mentioned that the port of loading was China

Customs is also investigating that why did they need to send two emails.

However, Customs found the email and acknowledged the same. The authorities in the Challan to be submitted before the Court would clarify the fact and extend their consent for the quashment of three FIRs, which have nominated directors of M/s United Marine Agencies as accused.

The importers nominated in these six FIRs along with the directors of M/s United Marine Agencies include M/s Shafi Traders, M/s Segma Impex and M/s Mohammad Ishaque and M/s ATS Synthetic (Pvt) Ltd and directors of M/s Inservey Pakistan Pvt Ltd.

Other accused include Rizwana W/o Mohammad Hanif and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Syed Wasi Ahmed of M/s United Impex and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Majid Ali of M/s Global Taxtile and M/s Maritime Agencies Pvt Ltd; Haseena of M/s H.S Enterprises and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Imran Shafi of M/s Imran Autos asnd M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Mohammad Ismail of M/s M.I Tabbasum Corporation and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Suleman Qasim of M/s Mzammil Exports and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Ghulam Mustafa of M/s GM International and M/s AMI Pakistan (pvt) Ltd; Arshad Nawab of M/s M.A Khan Enterprises and M/s Maritime Agencies.

So far MCC Appraisement East lodged 26  FIRs and MCC Appraisement West did 20 FIRs in switch bill of loading case.

The officers detected the fraud had been transferred due to political pressure.

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