KARACHI: Anti-smuggling organization (ASO) Preventive Lahore has seized huge quantity of foreign origin smuggled air conditioners worth Rs120 million.
According to details, the Customs staff of ASO Lahore intercepted a Mazda Truck loaded with foreign origin indoor units and outdoor units of air conditioners, which were detained. During inquiry in said case, it came on record that another huge quantity of similar foreign origin air conditioners had been stored in a godown of M/s Tanveer & Company, situated at Mohallah Salamat Pura, Near Orange Train Daroghawala, Lahore and Moman Pura Lahore.
On the directives of Collector Faiz Ahmed, warrant was obtained from the Judicial Magistrate, Lahore for search of the said two premises owned by one Mughees Tanveer Butt. The search warrant was executed upon the store keepers and further copy of the same was also affixed on the entry gates of the said godowns. At this juncture, Mughees Tanveer Butt came on the spot who, upon asking, stated that he is the owner of the said godowns. On further query, he also stated that the air conditioners lying in the godowns belong to M/s Malik & Co., Karachi and M/s Moon Light, Karachi and the said goods have been stored in the godowns on rent basis. However, on search, conducted in the presence of above said persons and other witnesses, foreign origin 1418 indoor units and 1283 outdoor units of air conditioners were found available in the said godowns.
Initially, the goods were detained for want of import documents and further investigation. Meanwhile, one Majeed Khan s/o Nizam Din appeared and submitted an application along with import documents and contended that he is the owner of the detained goods and requested to allow some time for production of all documents showing lawful import of the said goods.
After a lapse of sufficient time, Majeed Khan or any other person failed to produce any documentary evidence showing lawful possession or legal import of the said detained goods of foreign origin. In this situation, there are sufficient reasons to believe that recovered goods of foreign origin have been smuggled into the country in breach of restrictions and prohibitions for the time being in force and evading payment of duty/taxes leviable thereon. The recovered goods, of import value Rs120 million along with Mazda Truck are seized for contravention.
Since it is not practicable to shift the seized goods to Customs State Warehouse due to paucity of space, therefore, the seized goods are placed in the temporary custody of Mughees Tanvir Butt with the direction not to remove, part with or otherwise deal with the seized goods without prior approval of the MCC (Preventive), Lahore.