Corruption at Pakistan Customs: Supreme Court orders report in ten days

KARACHI: Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken notice on a complaint regarding corrupt practices of Chief collector Customs Appraisement South Abdul Rasheed Sheikh and Director General Customs Intelligence & Investigation Shaukat Ali and ordered Chairman FBR and NAB to submit a report in this regard within ten days.

In the last 4 years, some rogue elements in the outgoing government including a senator, an advisor and few others used Customs department for their vested interests. For this entire scam, Chairman FBR remained a dummy and did nothing; Member Customs Zahid Khokhar also remained a spineless officer while Chief Collector South Abdul Rasheed Sheikh and Director General Customs Intelligence Shaukat Ali were the main players in this scam.

Chief Collector Abdul Rasheed Sheikh used green channel facility as the tool for this mega corruption case. Over 60 percent imports were cleared through green channel. Scrap and miscellaneous items were added in green channel, which was a surprising act as scrap and miscellaneous goods were never cleared through green channel.

Moreover, Port Control Unit was practically deactivated, this unit detected scams and detected smuggling of contraband.

companies who were not eligible for green channel facility were given green channel status and scrap consignments, commercial goods and miscellaneous goods were put in green channel, as earlier these were never cleared from green channel. Officers who detected the scam were moved to bad postings. Legal committees were barred from contesting cases resulting in loss to exchequer. Contravention reports against fraudulent importers were withdrawn to protect their profile.

DG I&I Shaukat Ali was also the part of this plan and destroyed the intelligence network through abrupt and abnormal transfers and postings within the Directorate General. A former Customs Intelligence & Investigation official Mushtaq Sarghana was actually calling the shots and managed transfers and postings of officers and officials. Intelligence officials instead of curbing smuggling escorted the consignments of smugglers to protect the goods from other agencies.

M/s BBJ Pipes case, M/s Digicom mobile smuggling case, Menthol paracetamol case at MCC Port Qasim and Rolls Royce import by Minhaj Khan academy/o Mir Alam Shah in 2017 to name a few are the prominent cases of controlled smuggling.

These two officers practiced all authorities pertaining to transfers. Transfers and postings in the last four years were malafide as officers and officials were abruptly and abnormally transferred to destroy the writ of Customs. Chief Collector Abdul Rasheed Sheikh and Director General Shaukat Ali misused their authorities and transferred employees for victimization.

These officials were moved even to other provinces as they detected revenue evasion and smuggling cases and served contravention reports on importers. Contravention reports were withdrawn and officials were transferred to bad postings as a punishment. They had detected frauds pertaining to the import of iron, steel and mobile phones etc.

Moreover, competent intelligence officers and officials were transferred to weaken the intelligence network.

Shahnaz Maqbool was victimized for detecting cases at Al Hamd Container terminal and lodging FIR contrary to the recommendation of Chief Collector.

Involvement of Director General also reported involved Liquor smuggling through Al Hamd Container terminal. Mobile phone, betel nut, fabric, tyres, spices, auto parts were also smuggled.

Mansoor Sheikh, brother of Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, got his name removed from the directorship of M/s E-Movers, a bonded carrier nominated in several FIRs.

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