KARACHI: The Model Customs Collectorate of Exports has lodged an FIR against an importer and others for committing mis-declaration through submission of fake Form-E fraudulently to avoid realization of foreign remittances worth $104,617.8 in Pakistan.

The FIR has been lodged against Syed Hasan Al-Saqaf s/o Syed Mustafa Al-Saqaf, Ahsan Raza s/o Ghulam Abbas and others.

Brief facts of the case are that information was received in MCC Exports that some unscrupulous exporters with the connivance of their clearing agents were exporting goods against fake and forged Forms-E. Goods Declaration (GD) was filed by the M/s Fashion Shoes Industries through their clearing agent M/s Cargo Aviation Systems for the export of their consignments and sought clearance for the shipment through weBOC.

The Collectorate contacted the concerned banks for the verification/authenticity/genuineness of Form-E, the bank however did not endorsed the genuineness of the Form-E.

Collector Exports Wasif Memon has appreciated Exports Investigation Branch (EIB) members including Assistant Collector EIB Ali Waheed, Principal Appraiser Shahid Rizvi, Javed Khalid for their efforts in this regard.

It may be mentioned here that Customs authorities have discovered that over $5 billion exports are never reported due to being done on the fake form ‘E’ and sales receipts received in the country through money laundering.

Sources said that several cases have been intercepted where Form ‘E’ were found fake or were issued by the commercial banks without informing the State Bank of Pakistan.

The sources said that the authorities had estimated about 20 percent of total exports were being done on fake form ‘E”. The total exports of the country during fiscal year 2012/2013 was $24.55 billion, which means the claims of customs authorities of fake form E the total exports of the country would have been around $30 billion.

Realizing the sensitivity of the issue, Pakistan Customs has issued Public Notice to warn the exports on non-submission of Form – E.

The notice informed the exporters and clearing agents that uploading of Form-E that is certified by the commercial bank of the exporter is mandatory requirement of law for online filing of goods declaration for exports. Moreover, the hard copy of Form-E be submitted with the respective export terminal operator without fail. Pakistan Customs advised the exporters in their own interest to adhere to the instructions for seamless exports and expeditious duty drawback payments.

Under the Customs Act, 1969, all the exports from Pakistan are subjected to submission of Form-E certified by authorized dealers of foreign exchange at the time of filing goods declaration for export.

The customs authorities detected that either the exporters had not complied with the instructions or filing fake Form-E. “Instances of fake Form-E numbers indicated on online filed GDs have come to the notice which is liable for stern legal action,” according to the public notice.

The sources said that the authorities were investigating the role of commercial banks in issuing fake Form – E and the compilation of data by foreign exchange department of the central bank.

The customs authorities had information that banks had facilitated the culprits that had deprived the country from foreign exchange. They also had information that banks had a parallel system of issuing Form – E with a group of exporters and only provide details to the SBP where they issued genuine forms.