KARACHI: The Intelligence & Investigation Customs has sought approval of Federal Board of Revenue and Ministry of Finance so that focal person of US Consulate in Karachi could be nominated in the FIRs pertaining to pilferage of ISAF forces hazmat waste in Pakistan.
Sources said that Iftikhar Haider is the focal person of US Consulate in Karachi looking after reverse cargo of NATO/ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
I&I Customs has approached higher authorities seeking permission to book Iftikhar Haider under CGO-10, which requires that focal person, bonded carrier and clearing agent will be nominated in FIR.
It may be mentioned here that a number of containers carrying hazardous waste were pilfered enroute to Port Qasim, but the US consulate never made any complaints regarding this pilferage instead they claimed that there had been no such incident.
Customs Authorities have found a number of NATO/ISAF reverse cargo containers filled with cement blocks and wooden pallets instead of declared goods i.e. hazardous acid waste.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) approached Chairman FBR Tariqq Bajwa for assuming the charge of these entire investigations. Directorate ATT submitted that it was their jurisdiction, besides it was them who detected the case and lodged initial FIRs.
However, FBR has reportedly refused their request and I&I Customs is carrying on the investigation of the case.
Sources said that the role of Directorate ATT had come under question after they booked clearing agent M/s Trade Link in the FIR despite the fact M/s Trade Link was the informant and had written a note on the reverse of GD that the container was suspicious and should be examined.
It was on their recommendation that containers were examined and it was found that these were filled with cement blocks and wooden pallets instead of declared waste. But, Directorate ATT lodged FIR against M/s Trade Link.
Moreover, Directorate ATT cleared 13 containers to Germany of which 12 were found filled with cement blocks. Even more surprising, the examination officers at Port Qasim who had cleared these 13 consignments after keeping them ground for five-days,to Germany were transferred to Custom House and were given the task to investigate their own actions.
Sources said that it seem certain quarters were trying to change the direction of the investigations off some real culprits.
It was known that Director General I&I Customs, Lutfullah Virk is due in Karachi and further deliberate the details and different aspects of the case.
Sources said that surprising disclosures viz-a-viz FIRs and arrests are likely in the days to come.