SHC orders release of guarantees against release of consignments proved to be alloy steel

KARACHI: The High Court of Sindh has ordered release of bank guarantees deposited with the Nazir of the Court against release of consignments as these consignments were proved to be Ally steel in the light of laboratory test reports, which would not attract payment of duties.

According to details a number of petitions were disposed of with this order. All the consignments of the hot rolled steel sheets in coils were found to contain more than 0.0008 percent boron as inherent part of the steel would qualify as Alloy steel, which would not attract payment of any duties.

The Court advised the Customs to issue letters to the respective importers whose consignments of hot Rolled Steel Sheets in Coils contain more than 0.0008 percent of Boron for release of the bank guarantees, pay-orders, cheques, or cash deposited with the Nazir of this Court against release of consignments.

However, the Customs have been given this option that in case they are of the view that boron is not inherent part of the Hot Rolled Steel Sheets in Coils and is sprayed to avoid payment of duties, they would be at liberty to get the consignment re-examined from M/s. A.Q. Khan Research Laboratory (KRL).

However, not more than four samples of one importer having any number of consignments would be sent at the cost of the importer.

Sources said that the laboratory test reports were the basis of the Court’s judgment but these lab reports were not authentic as the samples sent to the lab had been changed and did not represented the actual consignments.

Sources said that it was a mega scam, samples had been changed with the connivance of clearing agents and some officials.

It was known that there was a group of Customs officers in 2012-13 and reportedly officers such as Additional Collectors, Deputy Collectors and Principal Appraisers were involved in unscrupulous activities. Sources said that this group had managed deployment of its loyal officers in MCC Appraisement East including R&D, One Customs Assessment and Examination.

They reportedly changed the samples of hundreds of consignments and inflicted heavy loss to the exchequer.

Customs has reportedly decided to get the samples re-tested from A.Q Khan Laboratory. And these reports would disclose surprising facts.

Sources said that the authorities should not be lenient in this case and a committee of reputed officers such as Zafar Iqbal, Farrukh Sajjad from I&I, Dost Mohammad and Mohammad Tahir of Appraisement East, Shahid Dasti and Nayyar Shafiq in Appraisement West, Maqsod and Saeed Akram from Port Qasim should be formed to pursue this case.

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