Betel nut imported in the garb of used goods seized

KARACHI: MCC Preventive has seized a container of betel nut, which was cleared from Al-Hamd Container in the garb of used and second-hand shoes/clothing.

Information was passed that a container carrying non-duty paid betel nut cleared from Al-Hamd Container Terminal (AICT) in the garb of used shoes was parked at open yard at SITE for unloading purposes.

Staff of ASO Preventive, on the directives of Deputy Collector Muhammad Faisal, reached the spot and found the container, while the driver had escaped. The examination of the container led to recovery of betel nut along weighing 18.9 tons along with the used shoes and clothing.

Initial investigations found that the container was cleared from Al-Hamd Container Terminal showing the declared items as used shoes and clothing imported by M/s Star Traders. The goods have been detained, an FIR is lodged and investigations are underway.

Sources said the involvement of the terminal operator in this scam could not be ruled out as no footage of the said container’s examination were found since the vehicle was parked at a spot out of the reach of the cameras.

An official said there had been several instances in which container terminal staff was involved in mis-declaration, smuggling and cargo replacement. The official added that it was possible that the container owners were involved and made their employees escape goat when caught.

Chief Collector Abdul Rasheed Sheikh has been patronizing smuggling and mis-declaration and he enabled large scale misuse of green channel facility. Chief Collector Abdul Rasheed Shaikh stopped the assessment and examination staff from creating examination and calling documents even for yellow channel consignments.

Investigation sources said they were unable to investigate such high level officers and hence the investigations were not moving in the right direction and only the time was being wasted.

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