Appraising officers collecting evidence regarding misuse of green channel

KARACHI: The appraising officers and assessment staff in south region have initiated an informal campaign and compiling evidence pertaining to the gross misuse of green channel facility, as the Chief Justice of Pakistan has ordered an investigation into the alleged corruption at Customs.

Talking to Customnews.pk, several officers said that they would contact the NAB and provide evidence regarding corruption and misconduct at the Customs Appraisement South. Around 65 percent of the import cargo was being cleared through the green channel. For the rest of 35 percent of the import cargo, Chief Collector South Abdul Rasheed sheikh had barred the assessment and appraising staff from calling mandatory documents and conducting examination.

Deputy collectors, assistant collectors, principal appraiser and appraising officers were pressurized not to demand mandatory documents along with the Goods Declaration and not to create examination of the imported consignments.

However, the appraisement officers refused to obey these orders as in case of any inquiry and investigation only the appraising officers following orders were made escape goats. Therefore, the appraising officers resorted to a strike. Chief collector withdrew these instructions and strike was ended.

However, the officers taking the stand and leading the strike were victimized. AO Raja Waseem was transferred to Gilgit Baltistan and AO Javed Khalid was moved to Quetta, AO Qasim Sheikh was moved to MCC Preventive, Shahid Dasti was transferred to MCC Exports Port Qasim, Imran Gul was moved to Internal Audit, Farhan Mehdi, Rabnawaz were moved to IOCO, Salman Bukhari was moved to PCA, Malik Shahid, Ehtesham Paracha, Ameer Nasir were moved to Transit Trade. These transfers of competent appraising officers dented the appraisement system and officials were also given a message that they could also be sent to bad postings.

In order to cover the wrongdoings and misuse of green channel facility, Chief Collector had an audit conducted pertaining to clearance of green channel, but this audit only verified implementation of valuation rulings. The audit did not scrutinized the mis-declarations and misuse of SROs and thus protected the unscrupulous elements. An official said that high value and high tariff goods such as spices, mobile phones, tyres  etc were not been cleared through the proper system as these are smuggled and cleared through mis-declaration through green channel denting exchequer.

Director RMS Shahnaz Maqbool had also detected gross mis-declaration and clearance of contraband goods through green channel.

Some conspiracy theorists are of the view that Chief Collector Appraisement South and Director General Customs Intelligence are mere pawns, in fact some rogue elements in the government were behind this mega scam. These theorists maintain that the political government had never been sincere with the country and its people and all their policies were aimed to dragging the country backwards instead of taking forward.

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