KARACHI: The efforts of the Directorate General of Transit Trade have yielded results as the authorities have found solid evidence of pilferage of goods off the US Army reverse cargo and detected the largest ever pilferage. Investigations are underway to identify the actual culprits involved.

DG Transit Trade Khawar Fareed Manika, Director Wajid Ali and Deputy Director Shoaib Raza were highly vigilant regarding the movement of US Army cargo, particularly after gross mis-declaration and pilferage of US Army reverse cargo in the country was detected.

The above mentioned officers have detected another instance of pilferage of transit goods in the country, which has caused irreparable loss to the economy.

M/s Ghani’s International, an authorized representative of Consulate General of the United States of America, sought clearance of 22 containers (20-ft) of US Army reverse cargo declared to contain generator power with transformer and equipment for transit to Karachi Port for export to Dubai.

These containers were inspected and seal verification was made at Torkham. It was noted that the scanning images of the consignment and weight slips of the GDs was not as per the description declared in the invoice and packing list. Sources said there also was notable discrepancy between the scanning images of containers taken at Torkham and Karachi Port as well as the weight done at Torkham and Karachi Port.

The containers were examined physically in the presence of representatives of related parties but the generating sets declared in the invoice and packing list were not found in the containers. This established that generating sets were removed from the containers.

Sources said the gate and doors of the container were checked minutely to observe the technique to open doors of the container without tampering the seals and it was observed that nut and bolts of the hooks on which the seals are affixed, had been opened to remove the door with seals remaining unbroken. After pilferage of the cargo from the container the nuts and bolts are again fixed on the door.

Sources said a case has been established of pilferage of goods during transit by the bonded carrier in connivance with the drivers of the vehicle and authorized agents adding that the bonded carrier and the authorized agents have not fulfilled their responsibilities to carry and transit the cargo safe and sound condition, which is their responsibility as per rules and laws.

The carrier of the container from Torkham to Karachi Port is M/s. Port Connection Pvt Ltd., Customs Bonded Carrier. The Consulate General of United States of America had authorized M/s. Multitrans Logistics (Pvt) Ltd. and M/s. Ghani’s International, Customs Clearing Agency to take delivery, handling and clearance of the consignment.

The Directorate General of Transit Trade has made a case to the effect that bonded carrier M/s. Port Connection (Pvt) Ltd and authorized agents M/s. Peerzada Service International, M/s. Ghani’s International and M/s. Multitrans Logistics (Pvt) Ltd., in active connivance with each other have pilfered transit goods causing huge revenue loss to the exchequer. An FIR is likely to be lodged in a day.

Sources said that the total value of the goods pilfered off the US Army reverse cargo comes at Rs 341.413 million and the duty/taxes involved on the pilfered goods comes at Rs 145.52 million. This is the biggest case of pilferage of US Army transit cargo in terms of the value and volume of the goods.

Sources informed Customnews.pk that the drivers of vehicles on which these containers were transported were likely to be nominated in the FIRs as the authorities have decided to involve the drivers in the investigation.

Sources said these drivers were the actual custodian of the containers and whatever happened to the goods could not remain hidden from the eyes of the drivers and they could lead to the actual culprits.

It may be mentioned here that all these containers were coming through the Peshawar-Torkham transit route. DG Transit Trade and DG Intelligence & Investigation -Customs have already detected mis-declaration and pilferage of US Army reverse cargo coming from Peshawar-Torkham route. However, there has been no instance of any wrongdoing with the consignments transported through Quetta-Chamman route.

Recently, MCC Preventive spotted seven containers but no irregularity was found and the same were cleared. Sources said that it has been established that the officials/officers of Transit Trade at Peshawar-Torkham are actively involved in this mega scam.

Well placed sources informed ‘Black Dollars’ are also being transported through the transit trade and the scanners could only see black papers. Sources defined the black dollars as regular dollars with some treatment, which turned them into simple black papers. These black dollars become regular dollars again after a particular chemical is applied on them.

Sources said that physical examination of all US Army cargo should be made mandatory at both borders i.e. Peshawar-Torkham and Quetta-Chamman so that pilferage of goods could be prevented. Sources said that this cargo could contain anything including hazmat waste, chemicals and other similar things.