KARACHI: A team of MCC Preventive led by Assistant Collector Raza Naqvi has busted a ring involved in pilfering of transshipment (TP) consignments and arrested two persons.

According to details of the case, information was received that a TP consignment destined to Peshawar would be pilfered at a godown in the SITE area Karachi. The information further disclosed that M/s SDS Logistics (Pvt) Ltd would be involved in the offence with the active connivance of importer and the bounded carriers.

A raiding team of MCC Preventive led by Raza Naqvi maintained incognito surveillance on the SITE industrial area and later raided the premises. It was found that both the doors of the container were open and the container was empty.

The driver of the vehicle named Zarwali Khan was there and the documents provided by him revealed the impugned consignment arrived from Jebel Ali, UAE was cleared from Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT).

Search of the raided premises/godown found huge quantity of foreign origin goods worth millions of rupees. Zarwali Khan and another person Roshan Khan were arrested and FIR was accordingly lodged. Efforts are underway to arrest the proprietors of M/s Qasim Traders, M/s SDS Logistics and other abettors.

Chief Collector Enforcement Nazim Saleem and Collector Tariq Huda and Additional Collector Feroz Alam Junejo has appreciated Raza Naqvi and ASO team.

It is pertinent to mention here that large scale smuggling is being carried out under the garb of transshipment consignments. The unscrupulous elements import different goods and mis-declare the description, classification and origin of goods. Then these goods are transshipped to different dry ports.

But, the importers in connivance with bonded carriers, custom agents etc de-stuff the goods from TP containers and then these containers are filled with goods actually declared. These goods generally attract very low rate of duty. It may be mentioned here that TP consignments are not physically examined at the port of arrival.

This way different foreign origin goods find their way into the country and a huge loss is inflicted on the national exchequer.

Since the TP consignments are not physically examined at the port of arrival, the Customs authorities have to rely on Goods Declaration and the IGM. It may be mentioned here that IGM is provided by the shipping company, which does not know about the contents of the containers and hence they note in IGM whatever the importers tell them. The importers provide just one PCT code for the entire consignment.

The goods are pilfered enroute to the dry ports and the goods declared in the GD were filled in the containers. As all the documentary work is complete therefore they come clean.

A large number of cosmetics, toiletries, garments, toys, electrical appliances etc are imported in Pakistan without paying legitimate duty. Local markets are flooded with these smuggled goods.

It was known that the entire game is planned at Jebel Ali, which is a free port. Goods from all over the world including Europe land at Jebel Ali and then these are re-exported to various destinations. This practice does not need clearance and release of these goods into Dubai.

It was known that if these goods are cleared and released into Dubai, it attracts a duty at the rate of 5.0 percent. But, the importers in order to save 5.0 percent duty, re-export the entire consignments to various destinations including Pakistan.

Sources said that Jebel Ali Port, Dubai has all the documents and details of the goods arriving there as per the IGM received there. These same goods are re-exported to different destinations and all these details are accessible for Customs authorities.

The Pakistan government should make government to government arrangement with the exporting countries and IGM received there should be reconciled with the IGM received at local ports for transshipment of consignments. These containers can be tracked that from where these reached Jebel Ali and then moved to Pakistan. This would help Pakistan combat economic terrorism.

It is also interesting to note that installation of tracker is mandatory for Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) consignments, but there is no such requirement for TP consignments. Sources said that installation of tracker on TP consignments should be made mandatory as this would discourage pilferage of transshipment consignments and revenue leakage could be plugged.

Since there is no check filling of correct and true declaration of TP-GD, MCC Appraisement West has proposed an amendment in Rule 423 that the definition of GD-TP should be changed to ‘GD-TP means Goods Declaration for transshipment filed electronically containing a true declaration of goods in terms of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 79 by the owner of the goods or his authorized bonded carrier for transshipment of goods’.