Breaking of NLS dry port; FIR lodged against several culprits

KARACHI: MCC Gilgit-Baltistan has lodged FIR against several persons for breaking the locks of NLC dry port and forcefully removing the goods without payment of duty and taxes, and later creating a law & order situation at the dryport.

The accused nominated in the FIR include Muhammad Javed of M/S AMAFHH Traders, Imtiaz Hussain, Javed Hussain Importer and MLA, Chota Iqbal, Irfan, Ramzan Qasab, Manzoor Bagoro, Haji Ismail, Zaheer, Haji Ishaq, Saith Haider Ali Shah along with other 25-30 identified persons.

Brief Facts of the case are that a person namely Irfan servant of Javed Hussain came to the Customs dryport and requested for offloading of a container of miscellaneous goods. After the process of unloading was complete, it was known that goods pertaining to above mentioned consignment were being loaded on three Pakistani trucks. Deputy Collector was informed about this accordingly. Major Jamal Shaukat Manager NLC had already informed the Deputy Collector that he had seen in the CCTVs cameras that some people were mixing the duty-paid goods with non duty paid goods in open area.

Subsequently, Customs staff along with Major Jamal directed Javed Hussain and accomplices not to pilfer the goods. Consequently, Javed Hussain started abusing the officers and chanted slogans against Customs, NLC, Chief Collector, Collector, Additional Collector and Deputy Collector and threatened the officers of dire consequences and also refused to unload the pilfered goods, which by then had been loaded upon Pakistani trucks.

The Deputy Collector therefore, went to his office and informed SHO, Police Station, Sost regarding the incident and requested to police protection/escort. Meanwhile, upon instigation of Javed Hussain and his accomplices a mob of violent importers and clearing agents entered the office of the Deputy Collector located at NLC, Sost Dryport.

While all this was happening, the Additional Collector of Customs was also seated in the office of the Deputy Collector. Soon afterwards, the mob of around 25-30 protesters, who by then had entered the office, started damaging government property. The officers were also threatened and beaten. The officers and staff of Customs managed to get out of the port premises however, on the way towards the main gate, a trader Ramzan Qasab again manhandled the Deputy Collector.

During the incident about 150-200 persons including labors of NLC had gathered in the premises of NLC and taking advantage of the chaos, Imtiaz Hussain who is the real brother of Javed Hussain and front man of the importer, loaded non duty paid goods on six Pakistani trucks mentioned above. Afterwards, he directed his men to break open the main gate of NLC. And thus, acting upon the directives of Imtiaz Hussain and Javed Hussain, one Haji Ishaq, broke the lock of NLC main gate and forcefully drove away six trucks loaded with non duty paid goods from the premises of NLC Silk Route Dryport (SRDP).

The SP Hunza was therefore, requested to apprehend all the trucks. All such trucks were accordingly intercepted by police at various nakas between Sost and Hunza, which were later on brought back by the Customs mobile squads with the assistance of local police and parked at NLC SRDP, Sost.

On re-examination huge quantity of undeclared goods including notified goods were recovered. Due to which the whole consignment was seized for violation of the provision of the Custom Act, 1969.

As per assessment, the value of the consignment is Rs16.054 million and leviable duty and taxes are Rs13.114 million.

An official said accused Javed Hussain is member legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan and is influential person in the region. The official said these accused persons had connections in the government and judiciary and availed pre-arrest bails.

MCC Gilgit Baltistan is extremely short of staff and resources and needs to be reinforced immediately.

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