KARACHI: One M/s Awan Enterprises, Lahore and M/s Friends Logistics have come up with a master plan to smuggling and pilfering goods and deprived national exchequer of the legitimate duties and taxes to the tune of Rs52.331 million.
[the_ad id=”31605″]First off, the importer and the clearing agent mis-declared the goods to avoid duty/taxes and when the officials discovered the fraud; the bonded carrier pilfered the goods en-route to avoid payment of duty/taxes and legal action at the destination collectorate as the consignments was destined to dry port Lahore.
The value of the consignment decalred by the importer/clearing agent was Rs393,439 while on examination the import value of the goods was asertained at Rs142.043 million. The consignment included auto engine, auto parts, automatic washing machines, mobile batteries, lithium batteries, surveillance video recorders, telephone sets, telephone exchanges, dish washers and 21,220 cellular phones with standard accessories in retail packing.
According to details of the case, a credible information was received through Collector Model Customs Collectorate, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, Karachi that some un-scrupulous persons are trying to evade duty/taxes by mis-declaration of description, HS Code, Quantity and subsequent filing of Trans-shipment Permits (TPs) for different Dry Ports of the country with the mal-intention to clear the goods in the garb of incomplete/declared declaration.
In order to verify the veracity of the information, the imported consignment vide GD No.KPPI-TP-34245 dated 06.02.2014 destined for Lahore Dry Port declared to contain electronics goods and parts filed by clearing agent/bonded carrier M/s Friends Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. on behalf of importer M/s. Awan Enterprises, House 1 15/1, Mohalla Ahata Lal Hussain, Dry Port, Mughal Pura, Lahore was intercepted by the CIU, MCC, PMBQ. Upon physical examination, in presence of representative of Bonded Carrier/importer the consignment has been found consisting of miscellaneous items as against declared description/classification.
[the_ad id=”32940″]The Customs Duty and other leviable taxes have been calculated to the tune of Rs52,331,864. After processing the accompanying documents, the consignment was handed over to M/s. Friends Logistics (Pvt) Ltd, who being a carrier was legally under obligation to ensure safe and secure transportation of the said transit cargo to the destination Collectorate i.e. Custom Freight Station, NLC (MCC-Appraisement, Lahore-Imports).
However, it has been reported by the destination Collectorate i.e. MCC, Appraisement Lahore, that the bonded carrier M/s Friends Logistics (pvt) Ltd, has intimated that the container along with cargo has been hijacked en-route. The MCC Lahore has further expressed the concern with regard to maneuvering/mal-intention of the bonded carrier thereby rendering strong credence to the effect that the goods being transited to Lahore Dry Port were in fact pilfered.
It is also pertinent to note that under rule 329 of SRO 450(1)/2001, the bonded carrier is responsible for carrying the goods to its destination without any delay and in case of violation of the rules of transshipment bonded carrier is liable to pay duties/taxes involved thereon in addition to punitive action under customs rules 2001 notified vide SRO 450(1)/2001 amended by SRO 174(1)/2013.
It is clear that the declarations, statements and documents submitted to Customs at Port Qasim, Karachi were incorrect and false in material particular; designed to serve the mere purpose of committing the fraudulent activity of smuggling and evasion of government revenue. Further, instead of delivering the goods to destination as required under rule 329 of SRO 450(1)/2001, the goods have instead been pilfered/misappropriated by design to evade payment of legitimate revenue and avoid further legal action at the destination collectorate.
“M/s. Friends Logistics (Pvt) Ltd, the authorized bonded carrier, who have principally facilitated this smuggling and fraud in violation of their under taking, for safe transportation of the said goods, are equally responsible for playing an active role in this smuggling and fraud hand in hand with the importer M/s Awan Enterprises,” says the contravention report.
Thus, the importer, M/s. Awan Enterprises, in connivance with their clearing agent/bonded carrier M/s. Friends Logistics (Pvt) Ltd have jointly and severally pilfered/smuggled and disposed of the said goods in gross violation of the relevant provisions of law and deprived of the Government of Pakistan and its national exchequer of the legitimate duties and taxes to the tune of Rs 52.331 million.
The contravention report has been forwarded to Customs Adjudication.