KARACHI: The Preventive Service Officers Association, one of three Associations active at Customs House, is having their elections to elect the officer bearers and body on May 15, 2014.

Two panels namely Pakistan Customs Panel and United Panel are competing to assume to governing office of the association while Kamil Hussain of Pakistan Customs Panel has already been elected unopposed for the Secretary of the Association. The elections would elect the rest of office bearers and ten member association and ten member club.

The other two trade unions include Class-4th & Lower Staff Association and the infamous Appraising Officers Association.

Although these unions were constituted with a purpose to serve its members and strive for their welfare, but corruption and departmental politics has plagued the very purpose.

The Lower Staff Association, however, is quite proactive in safeguarding the rights of its members and has always raised voice for the welfare of lower staff. This union holds the elections once every two years.

The Preventive Service Officers Association is an orthodox union and somehow striving to meet the charter of the association. The body holds its elections after a term of two or sometimes three years.

The Appraising Officers Association is said to be the perfect example of corruption, departmental politics and hypocrisy. Although, the union was constituted to safeguard the rights of Appraising Officers, but sources allege, Appraising Officers Association serve the interests of senior officers including collectors, chief collectors and senior Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officers.

Sources allege that Appraising Officers Association had never stood up for the rights of appraising officers and never raised any voice in favor of oppressed officers whether it be the case of promotions of deserving officers or false indictment officers in Afghan Transit scam.

This union is said to be the ‘cash-cow’ of senior officers and its office bearers get their due share in the process of money-making. It may be mentioned here that the cumulative assets of its current and some past office bearers amounts to over Rs5.0 billion, it has been very reliably learnt.

This association is known for promoting corruption and protecting corrupt and dishonest officials. It not only is promoting a culture of dishonesty and corruption but also cause significant loss to the national exchequer, however the palms of its office bearers are fairly greased.

To gauge the ethical status of this association, it is pertinent to mention here that an ex office bearer of Appraising Officers Association is also a garment exporter while another is also a clearing agent.

Customnews.pk reliably learnt that the Appraising Officers Association, which also act as brokers for senior Customs and FBR officers, has come onto the radar of several agency including Anti-Corruption and NAB while stringent inquiry as well as audit into the affairs of this association and assets of the office bearers cannot be ruled out.