KARACHI: In view of the pilferage of NATO/ISAF reverse cargo, the Directorate General of Transit Trade has recommended several measures to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to streamline the procedure of clearance of reverse cargo, which is exported back from Afghanistan via Karachi.

Sources said that DG Transit Trade has communicated to the Board that arrangements should be made for scanning the transit cargos at border stations for cross matching the scanned images with the scanning done at Karachi Port; the cargo moving under Customs General order 10/2012 may be subject to DEC and ANF drug checks for minimizing any chances of drug transportation. Moreover, adequate number of officers/officials should be posted in the Directorate of Transit Trade to deal with such cases effectively.

As ISAF/NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan a sizeable number of military cargo consignments are being exported from Afghanistan in transit to foreign destinations through Karachi through transport operators hired by the Office of the Defence Representative in Pakistan who are responsible for lifting of the goods from Afghanistan and their onward transportation inside the Pakistani territory.

This reverse cargo upon its entry into Pakistan undergoes weighment / inspection of seals by the Customs before allowing transit while physical examination of goods is carried out in exceptional circumstances and in the absence of scanners at entry points i.e Torkham/Chaman the cargo remains un-scanned.

The DG Transit Trade has unearthed pilferage of these reverse cargo consignments in a manner that items inside the container are replaced with bricks, cement blocks and wooden logs etc to make up for the decrease in weight with the intention to hoodwink the subsequent weighment at Karachi Port.

According to sources, Customs have their doubts that the actual incidents of pilferage may have taken place inside Afghanistan prior to the entrance of the consignments in the Pakistani territory which can only be detected with availability of scanning facilities, as 100% physical examination of such military It may be recalled that Pakistan Customs have found enough evidence that toxic waste and radioactive material used by NATO and ISAF forces in Afghanistan is being dumped in Pakistan.

Directorate General of Transit Trade has lodged FIR against the bonded carrier and the US Consulate authorized agent for the pilferage of acid batteries (hazmat waste) of ISAF reverse cargo into Pakistan.