KARACHI: Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi Region during the first 6 months of the current fiscal year seized smuggled goods worth more than Rs1.2 billion and arrested more than 60 persons involved in smuggling.

FIRs against the accused have been lodged in the relevant courts. The operation was conducted in different areas of province of Sindh including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Rohri etc.

Director Customs Intelligence, Muhammad Asif Marghoob Siddiqui told that smuggled goods included 366,000 liters of Iranian diesel, 10 Tons of Hashish, 250,000 meter foreign cloth, seven thousand bottles of foreign Whisky, huge quantity of foreign origin smuggled cigarettes, tyres, tiles and electronic goods etc.

During the same six-month period smuggled goods worth Rs220 million were seized which shows a substantial improvement of 434percent in the performance of Customs Intelligence Karachi so far in the area of smuggling.

Operation against smuggling was conducted in line with the Anti- smuggling Strategy of FBR and also on the directions of Director General Lutfullah Virk.

Law enforcement agencies including Pakistan Rangers Sindh, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and Sindh Police greatly assisted Customs Intelligence and their role was much appreciated by the Director.

In reply to a query, the Director disclosed that during the same period Customs Intelligence Karachi unearthed tax evasion of more than Rs3.0 billion at import stage from Karachi Port, Port Qasim and Karachi Airport while several persons involved in tax evasion were also arrested and cases for recovery of evaded taxes and duties were referred to the Adjudicating Authorities.

Siddiqui added that during the first 6 months of fiscal year 2013-14 tax evasion of Rs790 million was detected. This shows record improvement of 423 percent in the performance of Customs Intelligence Karachi in the detection of evasion of duty and taxes during the period under review.

Revenue of Rs249 million was also realized during this period through auction of confiscated goods and other measures which is 249 percent more than the revenue of Rs62 million realized during the same period of last fiscal year.

Director concluded that despite shortage of manpower and other resources, Customs Intelligence could continue to play its role in controlling the menace of smuggling and foiling the attempts to evade duty and taxes for which instructions have been issued to all the officers/officials of Customs Intelligence Karachi, Sukkur and Hyderabad.

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