Pilferage of ISAF cargo; 8 containers seized, FIR lodged against bonded carrier, clearing agent

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation-FBR has lodged an FIR nominating M/s Saryal Cargo Channel & Customs Clearing Agency, Mohammad Asad Khan of M/s Port Connection for unauthorized and illegal pilferage/removal of bonded goods from consignments of ISAF meant for re-exportation from Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan to ISAF Germany via Port Qasim, Karachi.

Meanwhile, the bonded carriers have stopped the transportation of containerized cargo of NATO/ISAF forces from Afghanistan to Karachi. The bonded carriers have refused to carry any consignments from any warehouses. However, they have agreed to carry the goods directly from the US bases in Afghanistan only.

DG I&I presented Mohammad Asad before the link court Customs and obtained 5-day remand till April 11, 2015.

According to details, a credible information was received through a reliable source in the Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation-FBR that M/s Ports Connection (Pvt) Ltd, Bonded Carrier and M/s Saryal Cargo Channel & Customs Clearing Agency with the active connivance of other associates in crime are involved in the illegal and unauthorized pilferage/ removal of, bonded goods from the containers of various consignments of ISAF meant for re-exportation from Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan to ISAF Germany through Customs Station Torkham, Custom House, Peshawar via Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, Karachi, Pakistan.

The source further disclosed that number of such consignments where from goods have been pilfered, removed are lying pending re-export at Port Muhammad Bin Qasim for the last more than four months and no action has so far been taken by the concerned quarters.

In pursuance of aforesaid information a team of officers of the Directorate General of I&I-FBR Karachi conducted preliminary investigation and identified 17 containers (40-ft) of ISAF, re-exported from Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan to ISAF Germany, which were detained on 01.04.2015.

In this regard, copies of export Goods Declarations along with relevant export documents were procured from M/s. Trade Link International. From the perusal of the export documents, it transpired that M/s. Saryal Cargo Channel & Customs Clearing Agency during the period w.e.f 23.09.2014 to 23.12.2014, filed re-export Goods Declarations along with relevant documents on behalf of ISAF at Customs Station Torkham, Custom House, Peshawar, declaring therein the description of the consignments as ‘Batteries filled with Acid and Lamps’ and completed customs required procedural formalities.

The said consignments were thereafter transported to Port Muhammad Bin Qasim Karachi, by M/s. Ports Connection (Pvt) Ltd for its onward re-exportation to ISAF Germany.

The containers having intact seals affixed by the shipper and customs, were examined by the staff of Directorate General on 02.04.2015, at Port Muhammad Bin Qasim in presence of Muhammad Asad, General Manager of said Bonded Carrier, Muhammad Owais Khan of M/s. Tri-Wah Logistics Karachi, two representatives of M/s. Trade Link International, the Assistant Director, Directorate of Transit Trade, Port Qasim Karachi, Zubair Tahir, Surveyor Safe Consultancy DP World Port Qasim, Karachi and two authorized representative of ISAF and on behalf of US Consulate General Karachi namely Sibhatullah Rashid, Resident Manager and Muhammad Zakir Khan, Shipping Executive of M/s. Bin Qutab International (Pvt) Ltd.

During examination,  instead of ‘Batteries filled with Acid and Lamps’ as declared in the Export Goods Declarations, huge quantity of Wooden Pallets, Sand Bags, Concrete Blocks and 01 Box Used Tube Lights were recovered from eight containers, whereas remaining nine containers were found as per declarations in the relevant GDs.

It is established that M/s Ports Connection (Pvt) Ltd, Bonded Carrier, who issued carrier manifest in respect of the said consignments and also had undertaken full responsibility to transport cargo in safe and sound condition, with the active connivance of M/s Saryal Cargo Channel and Customs Clearing Agency and other associates in crime have removed/pilfered actual bonded goods and replaced the same with wooden pallets, concrete blocks and sands to cover up the offence.

These eight consignments along with export documents and seals have been seized and notice has been served upon Atiq Niazi of M/s. Trade Link International. In the meantime, Muhammad Asad Khan, General Manager, M/s. Port Connection (Pvt) Ltd has been arrested.

Further investigation in the matter is in progress.

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