KARACHI: In compliance with the directives of Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding coordinated and joint efforts against illegal movement of smuggled and contraband goods, Pakistan Customs in coordination with police and rangers launched a crackdown against availability of smuggled petroleum products in the city and seized large quantity of smuggled diesel being sold at petrol pumps.
Addressing a press conference, Collector Customs-Preventive informed that the operation was kicked off Sunday morning at 0900 hours, which continued till 1730 hours.
tariq huda
Pakistan Rangers (Sindh), district Administration, Sindh Police and Municipal Commissioner aided Pakistan Customs in the operation.
The operation was started in the morning on Sunday, the 24th November, 2013 and different operational teams started coordinated field operations.
Resultantly 61 illegal petrol pumps were demolished, 104 nozzle-pumps were confiscated and around 50,000 liters of diesel worth $45,000 was seized.
The sale of smuggled diesel is not only draining out precious foreign exchange, it also causing huge revenue loss to the national exchequer as 7.5 percent customs duty and 17 percent sales tax is to be paid on import of diesel, which the government is being deprived of.
Tariq Huda said that all agencies/department had reiterated their resolution to continue such operations till the final target is achieved, and appreciated the Supreme Court of Pakistan for bringing the agencies close together.
To a question, he said that they had provided complete details of weapon imported in last 10 years to the Sindh Police as per the directives of Supreme Court in the suo moto pertaining to the law & order situation in Karachi.
Huda said that this was only the first phase and large-scale crack down would be undertaken in days to come against all the smuggled goods entering in Pakistan and the elements involved in this would be taken to task.
To a question that why Customs did not take any such action before the Supreme Court took notice of the issue, Huda said agreed that their efforts had been expedited after the directives of Apex Court because all the relevant agencies/department had come in close coordination and cooperation.
He informed that the smuggled petroleum products came in launches anchoring deserted sports along Jeewani and Pasni and transported in tankers.
He informed that Customs in coordination with other agencies would collect samples of petrol/diesel from franchised fuel stations in city and lab test the same to identify involvement of oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the sale of smuggled diesel/petrol in the city.
Huda said that Customs have jurisdiction for 20km in sea but the department did not have the capacity and facilities to cover the area.
It may be mentioned here that the department is in dire need of young staff, which is well trained and equipped with cutting edge facilities and equipment.
The Customs had arrested a couple of launches even before the Supreme Court took notice and also arrested a number of launches recently.