Turtle organ export; non bail-able warrants of Chinese national issues, name put on ECL

KARACHI: The Court of Special Judge (Customs & Taxation) has issued non-bail-able warrant of one Yingquan Pang, a Chinese national, and directed to put his name in the exit control list (ECL). Pang is the partner of M/s Hongda Trading Co, which has been booked for the fraudulent export of turtle organs mis-declared as dried fish maw.

The Court made these rulings after MCC Exports Customs submitted the Challan in respect of FIR lodged against M/s Hongda Corporation for exporting protected species.

According to details, M/s Hongda Trading filed an export GD for fish maw net weight 3374 Kgs destined to M/s. Kong Hing Trading Co, Hong Kong and sought shipment availing facility of automated customs clearance system.

The Risk Management System (RMS) selected the subject Goods Declaration for examination, which found that the consignment contained some turtle organs. Sindh Department of Wild Life ascertained that consignment contained dry shells, plastrons/fringes of fresh water turtle of Indus River system. The exporter filed an untrue declaration in the WeBOC System to hoodwink the system  and get the consignment cleared.

After examining the goods, Sindh Wild life Department conveyed the value of seized goods to the tune of Rs.616.564 million.

Had it not been detected at the time of examination, the exporter would have succeeded to export the contraband Turtle Dry Shells/Plastrons/Fringes in the garb of fish maw and on lower value also.

After concerted efforts, one partner of M/s Hongda Trading, Ali Ahmed Soomro was arrested. During the remand period, Soomro disclosed that M/s. Hongda Trading Co. Karachi has been exporting different sea foods to Hong Kong/China. It has also come on record that a Chinese citizen known as Mr. ‘H’ visited Pakistan and met with him and another person Mohammad Rizwan for the purpose of importing above mentioned item from Pakistan to China.

Investigation of the case further revealed that Soomro accompanied the Chinese national to the vicinity of Indus River where fresh water turtles are abundantly available. According to investigation it was known that Soomro entered into an oral agreement for the supply of seized turtles skulls, plastrons & fringes and conceal the same in PP Bags apparently containing Dry Fish etc.

The investigation revealed that exporting firm is a partnership concern and other partner of it is a Chinese National namely Yingquan Pang. According to investigation, second partner of the firm used to interact with Chinese and other foreign buyers of dry fish etc. During the course of investigation it transpired that Ali Ahmed Soomro has exclusively played his role for the procurement of seized turtles skulls, plastrons & fringes and concealed the same in the impugned consignment for personal gains.

At the time of arrest of Ali Ahmed Soomro, a mobile phone in his use was taken into possession and accessed to some video recordings wherein accused Ali Ahmed Soomro is seen with fresh water Indus turtles which were shown to other peoples. Hence, direct involvement of Soomro in the procurement of turtles and subsequent making pieces of it as per foreign buyer demand is established without any iota of doubt.

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