Customs auctioning seized goods to recover evasion under the garb of Afghan Transit Trade

KARACHI: The Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement is auctioning polyester printed fabric worth Rs50 million owned by Azad Hafeez Limited to recover part of the duty/taxes to the tune of Rs354 million evaded under the garb of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).
These goods were confiscated as were being smuggled into the country under the garb of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) like 59 other consignments that were cleared earlier but never reached Afghanistan.
According to the Customs, these 59 consignments after being cleared by the Customs were pilfered en route by Azad Hafeez Limited, which had never actually reached Afghanistan causing colossal loss to Pakistan national revenue.
This practice squarely falls within the ambit of smuggling and the total duty/taxes evaded amounts to Rs354 million.
The abovementioned goods are being auction under Section 82 of the Customs Act 1969, which provides that goods not cleared or removed from the port area within one month of their arrival at a customs station or within such extended period not exceeding fifteen days such goods may, after the due notice given to the may be sold in auction or taken into custody by Customs and removed from the port to a Customs warehouse for auction.
According to details, Customs seized the consignments of polyester printed fabric of Azad Hafeez Ltd as this imported had already been issued 17 show cause notices.
Dissatisfied with the move, Azad Hafeez Ltd approached Collector Appeals. The Department offered the importer to pay the duty/taxes to get the goods cleared.
But, the importer approached Islamabad High Court, which dismissed the petition being not maintainable.
Since, the importer, Azad Hafeez Ltd did not appeared before the Department, the consignments of polyester printed fabric worth Rs50 million are being auction and a notice under Section 82 of the Customs Act 1969 has been served on the importer.

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