KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has suspended all proceedings in the case regarding alleged duty evasion by motorcycle assemblers by way of pilferage of transshipment (TP) consignments. DG I&I has filed the review application and hearing in this regard would be on January 26, 2015.
Director General I&I, Lutfullah Virk had found that some motorcycle assemblers were pilfering the motorcycle parts of transshipment consignments destined from Karachi to MCC Hyderabad.
However, the importers approached Sindh High Court and obtained stay order against any proceedings in the case by DG I&I in this regard.
In a letter to Chairman FBR, Virk informed that three motorcycle assemblers including M/s Memon Motors, Ms Raazy Motors and M/s D.S Motors pilfered a huge quantity of motorcycle parts/kits during the transit of TP consignments from Karachi to Hyderabad.
In one case, one container was intercepted after clearance and the same was re-examined and weighment was also carried out. Weight of 16.6 MT was recorded at Hyderabad against the ascertained weight of 27.9 MT recorded at Karachi indicating a difference of 11.3 MT i.e. 68 percent, which had been pilfered on the route.
Customs has estimated to the tune of Rs2.0 billion during the last two years by the above mentioned manufacturers.
In pursuance of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) directives, Collector Appraisement West constituted a team for carrying out examination and assessment of motorcycle kits/parts at MCC Hyderabad.
The FBR had devised this strategy to deal with the importers and unscrupulous elements who were availing stays from Courts against investigations and FIRs. Where one Directorate or Collectorate is stayed by the Court from carrying out investigations and proceedings; any other Collectorate or Directorate would pursue those cases.
In the case of fraudulent duty/tax evasion by motorcycle assemblers, the Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation was stayed to pursue the investigations by the Sindh high Court. However, Lutfullah Virk, DG I&I recommended MCC Appraisement West to pursue the case.
The team formed by Collector MCC Appraisement West to examine and assess motorcycle parts consignments at MCC Hyderabad in its report underlined  mis-declaration of weight and classification.
The lacunae in the procedure of processing transshipment (TP) consignments is inflicting a heavy loss to the national exchequer; the collectorate where the TPs are filed do not have the authority to examine the goods, hence the importers widely commit mis-declaration and even the goods are pilfered enroute to the dry ports.
According to the report submitted by the team, beside the difference of weight, certain discrepancies in the declared HS code have also been observed.
The court has suspended FBR order nominating MCC Appraisement West to pursue investigation against motorcycle assemblers, the team formed by MCC Appraisement West and the report filed by the team. DG I&I has filed the review application and hearing in this regard would be on January 26, 2015.
Customs has already compiled the import data of these importers for the last two years while data for three more are is also been collected, which would be presented before the court.