KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has charged the clearing agent and upheld imposition of penalty of Rs400,000 for facilitating illegal removal of imported consignment without payment of leviable customs duty and other taxes.

According to the details of the case, consequent upon detection of case of fraudulent/illegal removal of imported consignment without payment of leviable customs duty and other taxes from M/s. Pak Shaheen Off-dock Container Terminal, Keamari, Karachi, wherein criminal proceedings were initiated; further investigation and scrutiny of the record relevant to the consignments cleared through the aforesaid Off-dock terminal was undertaken. The relevant import shipping record/data was called from the importers/shipping agent/freight forwarders and was analyzed.

The consignment was shipped by M/s Panada Logistics co. Limited to M/s Facilities Shipping Agency.

It was found that a weight of 12568 KG was manipulated in the instant case by manipulating the weight as 1340 KG instead of the actual weight of 13908 KG against house bill of lading.

M/s Facilities Shipping Agency with the active connivance of the importers and their associates willfully mis-declared/ under declared the weight.

Subsequently, container was moved to M/s. Pak Shaheen, conniving with the importers and their associates, terminal did not record/report the difference of the actual quantity and/or weight, keeping in view the physical attributes and declared description of the goods i.e. auto parts.

Thus M/s. Pak Shaheen Container Services (Pvt.) Ltd., Off-dock terminal operators, Karachi illegally stored un-manifested cargo and did not inform the relevant customs authority rather they concealed. The same at the time of customs examination/assessment and even facilitated the illegal removal/ delivery of the same to the importers/custom agents which was taken out along with the cleared consignment comprising of 1340 Kg. Later on with the collusion of the Customs staff of MCC Preventive and Terminal operator’s staff posted at the Exit Gate of the terminal, M/s. Pak Asia Impex, Lahore (importers), filed a Goods Declaration (GD) through their Customs Agent M/s. Flying horse declaring the description and quantity as auto parts.

The goods were presented before the Customs examination staff maneuvering the contents and/or packing matching with their declaration and thus, hoodwinked the Customs staff who examined the goods and accordingly succeeded by getting the examination report endorsed on the GD verifying their declaration, accordingly.

The matter was referred to the adjudicating officer, who imposed a penalty of Rs.400,000 on M/s Flying Horse.

M/s Flying Horse filed appeal after delay of 312 days of the passing of adjudication order. The Tribunal dismissed the appeal and upheld the penalty.