KARACHI: Judicial Magistrate Lahore has issued non-bail able arrest warrants of 76 Customs officials including Principal Appraisers, Appraising Officers and Examining Officers as these officials are accused of overusing their authorities.
These officials are accused of clearing pharmaceutical raw material without the approval of Drug Officer causing a loss of Rs 40 million to the national exchequer.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been proving the case and approached Judicial Magistrate, District Court Lahore submitting that the accused were avoiding their arrest and added that non bail able warrants should be issued.
Sources said that the above mentioned Customs officials have decided to approach High Court seeking protective bail and as soon as the bail is confirmed, a constitutional petition (CP) would be filed for quashing of investigation against them.
The customs officials had allegedly cleared raw material for veterinary medicines for a pharmaceutical company during 2010-14 period at Karachi Port, without getting prior permission from the officer of Federal Drug Department, which is mandatory under Rule 15 of the Drugs (Import and Export) Rules, 1976. The FIA investigators had calculated initial loss of Rs40 million to the national exchequer due to the illegal act.
It was known that the Customs officials had approached FIA earlier praying to conduct the investigations in a fair and transparent manner but the FIA authorities allegedly demanded a huge sum for finishing the case. However, their demands were not met.
The 76 accused Customs officials include Principal Appraisers Najmul Hassan Jamali, Manzoor Rajpar,Muzaffar Razvi, Zahid Parvaiz, Bahadar Khan, Razia Sultana Bhutto, Murtaza Yaar Khan, Iqbal Hussain, Naseeruddin Humayun, Muhammad Iqbal, Qumaruddin Smaicho, Aga Muhammad Aslam, Jawed Ahsan, Jamshaid Ali Khan, Bashir Abbas Bukhari, Jalaluddin, Liaquat Ali, Islam Jan Marwat, Aftab Hussain, Abdul Majeed, Sikandar Ali Janejo, Madan Lal, Sayeed Irshad Ali Shah, Meer Mansoor Ahmad, Noor Muhammad Panhor, Ahmad Nawaz and Ghulam Muhammad.
The appraising officers (AO) included Abdul Aziz, SM Sohail, Noor Muhammad Kalwar, Amir Ahmad Samon, Akhtar Ali Jamali, Meer Alam Khattak, M Qadeer Khan, Sayed Zameer, Altaf Ali Chandio, Laique Ahmad Shah, S Zaighum Abbas, Zafar Shabbir, Mansoor Ahmad Meer, Sana Ullah Abbasi, Aziz Sarwar, Muhammad Ahmad, Abid Hussain Shah, Zaighum Abbas Khawar, Abdul Rasheed Khan, Rao Muhammad Aslam, Muhammad Nazir, Rai Iftikhar, Noor Muhammad Niazi, Raja Waseem, Rai Fayyaz Ahmad, Thimor Khan, Muhammad Waseem, Ameer Ahmad Sammo, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Anjum Barkzai, Abdul Aziz, Jawed Khalid, Ali Akbar, Zulfiqar Sheikh, Saiful Rahee, Mirza Irfan Baig, Ch Ghulam Asghar and Manzoor.
Similarly, examining officers (EO) include Salman Bukhari, Syed Farhan Mehdi, Riffat Ali, Shahid Hameed, Akhtar Hussain Wahla, Ms Nazia Hussain, Sayed Imtiaz Hussain, Noshad Ali, Khizra Saeed and Muhammad Ajmal.
Sources said that as many as six Assistant Collectors / Deputy Collectors were also included in the probe, but their warrants have not been issued so far.
Pakistan Customs Appraising Officers Association has been quite silent on this issue as according to sources their office bearers were involved in large-scale corruption and the investigation agencies had ample evidence against their wrongdoings.
Shafiullah, Senior Vice President of the Association was contacted to comment on this entire case, but he could not be contacted despite several attempts.