KARACHI: The Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) of MCC Port Qasim has foiled a bid of mis-declaration, where a couple of importers tried to import CRC steel in the name of alloy steel and evade duty/taxes.

According to details, in three consignments importers filed to clear the goods under the meaning and description of Alloy Steel and got their GDs completed provisionally under section 81 of the Customs Act, 1969.

However, as per information received by Collector, MCC, PMBQ that some scrupulous importers are trying to clear CRC by declaring CRC (ALLOY), the Collector issued directives to a CIU Team comprising of lhsan Ali Shah, Additional Collector, A.C. Falik Shair, Sultan Aurangzeb, Principal Appraiser and CIU staff, which intercepted three consignments and got them re-assessed under section 80 instead of Section 81 and recovered duty and taxes amounting to Rs6.3 million in three consignments imported by M/s. Azam & Sons (Bushra Enterprises, clearing agent) and M/s. Fahim Steel (Clearing agent Bhundi Enterprises).

The recovered amount include Rs2.59 million short paid on the consignment imported by M/s Azam & Sons, Rs2.48 million and Rs1.25 million short paid on two consignments by M/s Faheem Steel. It was the first time that recovery of short paid amount was made instantly.

Sources said that all the intelligence departments and Appraisement Collectors East, West and Port Qasim have become quite vigilant and all consignments declared as alloy steel silicon steel sheets have been put on hold for the purpose of re-examination.

It may be mentioned here that corruption has spread like a cancer in all the departments and institutions including Pakistan Customs, which not cause serious loss to the nation but also deprive legitimate businessmen from honest competition.

A senior FBR official informed that a cartel of Customs officers in MCC Appraisement-East caused loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. The said cartel/lobby worked in a very organized manner and inflicted irreparable loss to the nation while filling their pockets.

It was known that the main player of this lobby is a principal appraiser who also is a clearing agent as well as an importer and even the bonded carrier; senior Customs Officers are also part of this cartel.

This cartel/lobby is so strong that it manages to get transfers and postings of their choice. For instance in 2011-12, an honest Collector Appraisement Manzoor Memon transferred the members of these cartel from the Collectorate, but himself was transferred within 6 months.

It may be mentioned here that officers posted in MCC Appraisement-East last year included Additional Collector Dr. Fareed Iqbal Qureshi having charge of R&D, Assessment and Examination, Deputy Collector Examination Javed Sarwar Sheikh, Rafiullah Principal Appraiser Examination and Shafiullah Principal Appraiser R&D and Assessment.