FIRs lodged against importers, Al-Hamd Container Terminal staff

KARACHI: MCC Appraisement West has lodged FIRs against certain importers and officials of Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT) for conniving with each other to clear mobile phones, tablet PCs and batteries through mis-declaration in the bills of lading.

Collector MCC Appraisement West Shahnaz Maqbool passed the information to Deputy Collector R&D Imran Rasool that an attempt would be made to clear mobile phones imported from UAE through mis-declaration in the bills of lading.

On receipt of information, the subject consignments were put on ‘hold’ in the WeBOC system and the same confidential information was passed on to custodian AICT. However, Ahmed Mirza, head CSD AICT and Saad Hasan, rather than keeping the information confidential, communicated the same to the importers. Resultantly, the importers did not file the Goods Declaration (GD).

Subsequently, Deputy Collector Imran Rasool visited AICT for physical examination of the consignments and found that AICT staff was busy in removing the actually imported goods and removing the same with goods as mentioned in the bill of lading.

Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT) is not authorized under the law to examine the goods or relay the Customs ‘hold’ related information to persons involved in the case.

Physical examination carried out resulted in recovery of huge quantity of mobile phones, tablets and batteries. Initial interrogation of the AICT staff confirmed that importers, freight forwarder and AICT staff are all involved in the attempted fraud.

FIRs have been lodged against M/s Zuantiqam Impex, M/s Arham & Company, M/s Rana Enterprise M/s Allied Xpert Logistics and staff of M/s AICT.

In past, it has been practice of the criminal importers that whenever any crime is dug out or about to be unearthed, the importers provide an email from the supplier/shipper that the contents of the consignment had erroneously been shipped as against the orders and with the help of these sort of messages, the supplier/shipper usually ship the same contents of consignment mentioned in the bill of lading through another vessel, for escaping from any criminal proceedings.

FIRs have been lodged and AICT officials including Rehan Ashraf, Ahmad Mirza and Mehdi Sherwani have been arrested and remand was obtained from the Customs Court till January 23, 2018.

Sources said this is the part of the same scam in which green channel facility is being abused. Sources said it was abundantly clear that a senior customs officer was patronizing the smuggling through green channel facility in an organized manner.

Chief Collector Appraisement South has been transferring officials detecting the abuse of green channel facility and even withdrawn contravention reports against unscrupulous elements in the name of trade facilitation.

More importantly, Port Control Unit ID of MCC Preventive was closed on the instructions of Chief Collector allegedly to protect elements who were doing smuggling on ‘done’ basis, while a face-saving audit was conducted of consignments cleared through green channel, but it was only based on Valuation Ruling.

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