KARACHI: Customs officials are stunned over a decision of collector appeals by declaring ‘misunderstanding’ in a number of cases where officials detected unscrupulous persons removing the goods illegally and without paying taxes in connivance of terminal staff and other stakeholders.
In a case the collector appeal had not only minimized the fine imposed by staff of the collector appraisement upon transporters, the appellants, illegally removing the goods for certain importers but also resulted in discouragement for the customs officials, who were diligently pursuing attempts of importers to defraud the national exchequer.
The sources in Pakistan customs said that the officials would appeal against the order to Appellate Tribunal. The customs officials have strong argument that why the verdict had been given in the favour of counsel for the appellant Asim Bajwa, in similar several other cases.
According to the details of the case in which Collector Appeal issued order revealed that on an information and physical checking of a vehicle it was found that goods loaded on the vehicle were not related to the customs documents presented at the time. The goods found were six pallets weighing 2180 kilograms in 144 cartons, consisting of electrical circuit breakers with the consignee name as Shahrukh Enterprises, while the customs documents accompanying the consignment informed that goods were auto parts imported on August 29, 2011 filed by S M International on behalf of importer Omar Trade Corporation, Lahore. Nine gate passes issued by the staff of Pak Shaheen Off Dock Terminal, Karachi were being used for gate out for the mentioned goods.
Investigation showed that the actual goods pertaining to the GD are a consignment of auto parts which are still lying at Pak Shaheen Off Dock Terminal, Karachi. Three more empty old and used mini truck parked inside the Pak Shaheen Off Dock Containers Terminal which were allowed gate in by the terminal gate staff for loading of illegal removal of the non duty paid goods from the terminal.
The findings revealed that after interception of the illegal removal of goods outside the gate of the terminal the concerned representatives employee of the clearing agents, SPO gate as well as driver and conductor fled away from the scene with the custom copy of goods declaration and other supported documents.
According to the investigation officer all concerned were found guilty of an offence in violation of the relevant provisions of law and the adjudicating officer held that the charges against the appellant had been proved.
The advocate of the appellant Asim Bajwa prayed that the goods which were recovered form the vehicle was loaded by the importer on charges and applicant is not the beneficiary except rental charges. It is also evident same was seized with import are, nor there is only identification of the un-specified route or unauthorized route has been given, the subject seizure was made only due to some mis-understanding.
In the case the collector appeal reduced the fine/ penalty from Rs100,000 to Rs10,000 on the owner of truck seized while waived penalty on other three trucks / vehicles found empty in import area.