KARACHI: Director Risk Management System (RMS) Shahnaz Maqbool and Deputy Collector Hyderabad Imran Rasool are likely to face disciplinary action including suspension as top office of Appraisement South has convinced Chairman FBR for stern measure against the said officers for operating out of their respective jurisdiction to foil an attempt to smuggle betel nut.
Directorate of Risk Management Customs, acting on an eleventh hour information, detected smuggling of betel nuts in the garb of galvanized plain sheets and stopped three containers for which transshipment permit (TP) had been filed for dry port Lahore. The case actually fell within the jurisdiction of MCC Appraisement West.
Directorate of Risk Management System (RMS) was formed as a paper directorate in 2014. Director RMS, A grade-20 officer, is without an office and a team and without any authority as she was transferred to this position as a gesture of unofficial punishment.
Shahnaz Maqbool had the information and in order to foil the smuggling attempt, she decided to make a move. Deputy Collector Imran Rasool drove her in his official vehicle as Shahnaz Maqbool has not been a vehicle.
The consignment was stopped and checked and was found to be betel nut instead of galvanized plain sheets as per the declaration. The consignment was stopped and case was instantly referred to MCC Appraisement West.
However, a top Appraisement South Officer, who is alleged to be facilitating smuggling and mis-declaration, found this act of Shahnaz Maqbool and Imran Rasool warranting disciplinary action, sources claimed.
Sources maintained that on the directives of the said officer, a senior officer of MCC Appraisement West has written a letter to Member Customs recommendation inquiry into the conduct of Shahnaz Maqbool as well as suspension of Imran Rasool for operating out of their authority.
Chairman FBR had ignored the recommendation, however Chief Collector South Abdul Rasheed Sheikh called on Chairman FBR and expressed his concerns that the administration had weakened and if action was not taken, it would send a bad signal to the formations.
Subsequently, Chairman FBR has forwarded the file to Member Customs, which would be forwarded to Chief Management FBR for disciplinary action. Sources said action would be taken against the officers in the coming week.
Sources said Shahnaz Maqbool during his posting as Collector Appraisement West had detected smuggling of mobile phones at Al-Hamd Container Terminal and lodged an FIR against the accused despite a senior Appraisement South officer wanted to cover up the case.
Resultantly, she was posted as Director RMS as a punishment. Sources said out of term and abnormal transfers and postings were in routine at Customs Appraisement South and several officers/officials were transferred even to other provinces for detecting smuggling and mis-declaration and making cases.
An official said Customs Act provides that the Customs officers are bound to check and stop mis-declaration and smuggling irrespective of the jurisdiction.