KARACHI: The All Pakistan Customs Bonded Carrier Association has noted that they were being victimized and were being accused of smuggling, pilferage of consignments and even hijacking of containers without any solid grounds.

A meeting of the Association held in Karachi observed that there was a conspiracy in play aimed at hurting the bonded carriers’ interests and added that the series of events should be investigated by appropriate bodies.

Shams Ahmed Burney, Chairman of All Pakistan Bonded Carrier Association (APCBCA) stated that after the promulgation of Transit Rules, Bonded carriers were performing exceptionally well adding that transit consignments were safely delivered from the port of entry to their respective destinations in Afghanistan.

The rare delays in the delivery of cargo to the destination were caused by other factors including issues with the shipping lines, delays at customs or terminal and shortage of the scanners in port areas etc. But the authorities overlooking all these factors were blaming the bonded carrier alone.

Burney said the ratio of pilferage en-route to Afghanistan had been reduced to minimum level and there were hardly any incident of loot and plunder, and these too were duly reported by the carriers to the respective authorities.

He added security on the route was the responsibility of law enforcement agencies. Besides, the tracker companies had also failed to perform their responsibilities, which are responsible for real time tracking and monitoring of the cargo. Tracker companies are also supposed to establish Mobile Enforcement Units to check any incident of pilferage or theft of cargo.

Burney said that bonded carriers were operating in high security risk areas even without government support and at very competitive rates just to facilitate trade. He said that they were quite committed against smuggling and pilferage of transit cargo making difficulties for the smuggling mafia, which was the reason that they were being targeted by the unscrupulous elements.

Burney said that the system was not 100 percent accurate and there was always possibility of 1-2 percent leakage, which was ignorable. However, he said that bonded carriers had made an impression carrying out their job in very difficult circumstances.

He maintained that Pak Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) which was established to keep an eye on the transit trade and the enforcement of APTTA RULES was also not performing its duties in letter and spirit.

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