FIR registered against steel importers on defrauding Rs10.71 million to exchequer

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against an importer of prime quality of hot rolled steel plates for defrauding the national exchequer to the tune of Rs10.713 million.
According to the details of the FIR, Lahore based businessmen imported a consignment consisting of prime quality of hot rolled steel plates from China on September 30, 2011 and filed a goods declaration on October 04, 2011.
The importers claimed benefit of exemption of Customs duty on declaration that they have been awarded contract for rehabilitation of 22MW Jabbah Hydroelectric Power Project, Jabbah, Malakand.
Scrutiny of the documents revealed that prima facie, the imported goods were not covered under the provision of exemption notification. However, upon specific request of the importers, the aforesaid imported goods were released provisionally on February 28, 2012 against post dated cheque for the sum of Rs10.71 million equivalent to duty and taxes leviable with an undertaking to the effect that the importer shall abide by the final decision of the board in this regard.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in its notification on May 05, 2012 clarified that only machinery, equipment and spare are entitled for concession or exemption under SRO 575(I)/2006 issued date June 05, 2006 and thus subject goods are not covered by such SRO.
The FIR stated that accordingly, the provisional assessment was finalised and the post dated cheque was sent to the concerned bank which dishonoured the cheque with the remarks: “Balance is insufficient in account.”
Therefore, it is established that importer deliberately and fraudulently in association with the authorised clearing agency M/s New Allied Agency has attempted to defraud the national exchequer from legitimate revenue to the tune of Rs10.713 million by submitting invalid financial banking instruments i.e. post dated cheque which was bounced when presented to the concerned bank.

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