Customs Adjudication acquits Shahid Khatani of gold smuggling charges

KARACHI: Collector Customs Adjudication Asif Marghoob Siddiqui has vacated the show cause notice served on Shahid Khatani s/o Abdul Wahid Khatani and advised MCC Preventive that the seized goods i.e. gold bars and other items may be returned to the respondent.

According to details of the case as reported by MCC Preventive snap checking of various vehicles including the passenger busses was in progress, a passenger bus arrived from Quetta was stopped for checking. During examination of luggage kept in hold baggage area of the bus, a hand bag lying there was suspected to contain the objectionable goods inside it.

Therefore, prior to examination, the driver and conductor of the bus was asked to ascertain the owner of such hand bag to which a passenger later-on identified as Muhammad Shahid Khatani S/o Abdul Wahid Khatani claimed the ownership of the aforesaid bag. He was asked to declare the contents of goods kept inside the hand bag to which he replied that he does the business of manufacturing of jewelry and was in possession of assorted Gold in slabs and raw form pertaining to various customers in Quetta tor ultimate manufacturing of jewelry in Karachi. At the outset, he produced a card showing him the representative of Hyderabad Sarafa and Jewelers Group.

Khatani could not produce the documents relating to lawful possession of a sizeable quantity of gold at the time of interception. Eventually the hand bag along with the passenger was off-loaded and the gold was seized.

Later, one Iqbal Ahmed appeared before the staff of MCC Preventive and introduced himself as a jewelry manufacturer and order supplier and as proof produced receipts of various gold jewelers in Quetta. Iqbal Ahmed however failed to provide proof of legal import of the gold.

The detained gold was referred to M/s A.R Tabir Brothers for examination. A Show cause notice was served on Shahid Khatani as to why the seized goods should not be confiscated and penal action be initiated.

Shahid Khatani was represented by Faisal Ghani of M/s Franklin Law Associates who presented many facts and said it was clear that charges leveled against Shahid Khatani were in no way sustainable in the eyes of law.

After detailed deliberations, Asif Marghoob Siddiqui noted that the respondent Shahid Khatani successfully discharged burden of proof that the seized gold was not smuggled while MCC Preventive failed to establish the charge of smuggling.

Collector Adjudication vacated the show cause notice and ordered MCC Preventive to return the seized goods.

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