KARACHI: Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and Customs Intelligence, Karachi early Monday morning seized 166,373 liters of Iranian Diesel and petrol in a joint operation at open sea and foiled an attempt to smuggle the same in to the country without payment of duty and taxes.
As a result of the joint operation, Rs37 million worth Iranian oil seized besides 35 people have been arrested.
According to details, there was information that Iranian Diesel is being smuggled in huge quantity through sea routes in an illegal manner depriving national ex-chequer of its legitimate due. Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and Customs Intelligence therefore, decided to enhance surveillance and launch an anti-smuggling operation at open sea in Maritime Zones of Pakistan. Customs Intelligence also directed S.I.O Muhammad Aslam & Akmal Hashmi to coordinate with PMSA.
Thereafter, upon directions of Director General PMSA, Rear Admiral Ather Mukhtar SI(M), Corvette Ship and Fast Response Boats of PMSA were immediately deployed to monitor the sea routes and conduct focused anti-smuggling operation.
During the process, number of suspicious boats were boarded and checked by PMSA staff at open sea. As a result, five launches along with 35 crew which were carrying smuggled diesel were apprehended at open sea.
These apprehended launches were subsequently brought to the Karachi Harbour under the supervision of PMSA and Customs Intelligence. Thorough search was conducted and a huge quantity of 166,373 liters smuggled diesel and petrol was recovered as there was no proof or evidence for its legal transportation or import.
Estimated value of smuggled diesel and launches is around of Rs37 million. The goods were taken into custody after fulfilling requirements of law as required under Customs Act, 1969. 35 Persons were arrested and FIR under the Customs Act was lodged.
Director Customs Intelligence Karachi Muhammad Asif Marghoob Siddiqui in response to a query confirmed the seizure. He added that the operation was in line with the Anti-Smuggling Strategy of Federal Board of Revenue and under the instructions of Director General Customs Intelligence, Lutfullah Virk. Further investigation is under way. Director Customs Intelligence admired the active support and cooperation of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency to make the operation successful.