KARACH: Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation (I&I) Customs has expanded the domain of investigations in the case regarding pilferage of hazardous waste out of ISAF/NATO forces reverse cargo as the authorities have received photos of containers exported to Germany and were found to be filled with cement blocks.

A number of persons directly or indirectly involved in the ordeal have voluntarily recorded their statements before DG I&I Customs. Moreover, concrete evidence has been acquired and the investigations are progressing fast.

DG I&I Customs Lutfullah Virk has advised the Directorate to expand the ambit of investigations so that all aspects of the scam could be unearthed.

The Directorate has also started investigating past consignments of ISAF/NATO reverse cargo that have already been exported to Germany. It was known that 13 containers had been exported to Germany of which 12 were filled with cement blocks and wooden pallet while only one container had the goods as per the declarations.

The Directorate has also received photos of containers found to be filled with cement blocks and wooden pallets in Germany while evidence have come to surface indicating involvement of Customs officers in the scam.

It was known that the Customs officers used to place blurred and unclear images provided by the QICT scanner on clearance file so that the contents of the containers could not be known. However, scanner has the ability to provide zoomed and magnified images clearly showing the contents of the consignments.

Intelligence sources said that Customs officers posted at Torkham border have also been into the investigation as it was their responsibility to check and verify the seals of containers to ensure that there had been no tempering.

It was learnt that Customs Preventive staff at QICT would also be investigated as it was their responsibility to check that consignments were intact and there had been no tempering with the containers.

It is interesting to note that as per rules and regulations, Customs Preventive staff should be posted at QICT scanner, but the terminal’s personnel were posted at the Scanner.

The scam surfaced after reshuffling in the Directorate General of Afghan Transit Trade and Wajid Ali was posted as Director Afghan Transit Trade. Wajid Ali, soon after assuming the office, lodged three FIRs regarding pilferage of US/NATO reverse cargo.

The most surprising thing is that the German government or the US government did not inform Pakistan government at any level about the pilferage of their consignments.