KARACHI: The MCC Appraisement East has lodged an FIR against pharmaceutical raw material/chemical importers for importing chemicals under vague descriptions and mis-declaration to circumvent the application of Import Policy Order.

According to details, information was received in the R&D Section that certain unscrupulous importers were engaged in importing Pharmaceutical raw materials with the vague description of “SDO” & “Preservative ACJC” from China / India by mis-declaring description, classification and value with an intent to circumvent the application of Import Policy Order applicable to the pharmaceutical raw material.

A broad based inquiry was undertaken and relevant record of these imports was retrieved from the database of the Collectorate. Moreover, a couple of consignment of identical goods lying at port was also intercepted and were subjected to chemical analysis which were found to be pharmaceutical raw material, contrary to the declaration of importer as chemicals.

Consequently based on these results of chemical analysis an FIR dated 04.03.2015 was accordingly lodged against Importer namely Muhammad Ali Chandna of M/s. Pure Enterprises and his Clearing Agent Muhammad Ali Ravjani of M/s. Rajab Ali & Sons.

Scrutiny of the data indicated that M/s. Cemi Zone has cleared 10 consignments so far while declaring fake brand of Preservative ACJC-240 & 430 and SDO-222 as against pharmaceutical raw material.

The documents of 10 consignments, received, so far have indicated gross mis-declaration of description, classification and value. It was also found that actual description of the goods was quite contrary to the declaration.

Moreover, the value was also grossly under stated from $0.35 – $0.45/Kg as against $9 to $143/Kg indicated in the documents provided by the shipping companies. The attempted mis-declaration of description and value was aimed at to evade the legitimate taxes and escape from the restriction enshrined in Import Policy Order besides escaping from the higher tariff rate of @15-25 percent as against claimed 10 percent.

It is relevant to add that during the course of inquiry and examination of documents on record, it transpired that the amount of taxes relating to clearance of all the afore-referred 10 consignments were arranged/paid by accused Muhammad Ali Chandna of M/s. Pure Enterprises, Karachi and M/s. Pure Enterprises is also notified as buyer in two shipping bills.

The modus operandi for this organized crime was that importer used to surrender the original bill of lading at the port of shipment and delivery orders were managed via e-mail instruction from the principal with the instruction that original bill of lading has been surrendered and delivery may be given without presentation of the same.

In view of evidence on record, it is evident that M/s. Cemi Zone, Karachi with active connivance of master mind Muhammad Ali Chandna of M/s. Pure Enterprises has made deliberate attempt to import banned pharmaceutical raw material under the guise of SDO / ACJC Preservative and thereby caused huge revenue losses to the tune of Rs122.23million beside importing the banned material.

FIR has been lodged against Ziauddin of M/s Cemi Zone and Mohammad Ali Chandna.

It may be mentioned here that 83 consignments were cleared from MCC Appraisement East, but the Collectorate has only lodged FIR pertaining to 10 consignments.

It was known that the authorities were already in possession of all the evidence even when Mohammad Ali Chandna was on remand. If the FIRs regarding all the suspected consignments were lodged then, Chandna could have not been able to secure the bail.

This is a very high profile case involving revenue leakage of over Rs1.0 billion. In his recent visit to Custom house Karachi, the Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa had expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of Collector MCC Appraisement East Manzoor Memon in view of slow pace of investigation.

Despite that, the case is not being pursued properly and there are reports of an under-the-table deal executed by a principal appraiser to weaken the prosecution and protect the culprits.

It was known that the said FIR pertaining to 10 consignments was lodged by the Appraisement East on the pressure of Chief Collector Nasir Masroor and Member Customs Nisar Mohammad Khan.