KARACHI: Directorate General of Transit Trade has submitted the interim challan before the Court of Special Judge (Customs & Taxation) regarding the pilferage of generators off US Army reverse cargo.

According to details, M/s Ghani’s International filed a GD No. ITTP-US-02 through WeBOC system at Directorate of Transit Trade Peshawar (Torkham) for a consignment consisting of 12×20’ containers of US Army reverse cargo declared to contain generator power with transformer and equipment for transit to Karachi Port for export to Dubai.

The carrier of the container from Torkham to Karachi Port is M/s. Port Connection Pvt. Ltd, Custom 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.

Physical examination found that generating sets declared were not present in the containers. An FIR was accordingly lodged and several persons were arrested including Tikka Khan of M/s Adil Goods Transport Co, Sohail Dawood of M/s Bilal Associates and six drivers of the container laden vehicles.

It has further come on record as a result of interrogating the accused drivers that one of the accused drivers namely Bahram Khan has secretly recorded the process of pilferage of Generators from the containers through his mobile phone.

Accordingly, such video recording was minutely watched by the undersigned along with the supervisory officers which showed that a Crane bearing Registration No. JS-3075 was available at the place of pilferage, which apparently reflects the pre-arrangements for illegal removal of Generators from the US Military consignment meant for export to Dubai. Investigation further revealed that after getting the vehicles parked at different places in the locality of Ternol, Rawalpindi by Irfan Afridi, Jannat Gul and Security Guard, all trusted persons of absconding accused Shehzad Rasool & Tikka Khan (Transporter), were advised for rest at nearby places of their choice.

The disclosures made by the accused drivers in variably confirm that the above named person with the collusion of his other associates pilfered/illegally removed US Military Reverse cargo. It has further been transpired that accused Tikka Khan was also present at the place of pilferage but reportedly he opted to remain in a car driven by said Irfan Afridi. This situation clearly means that accused Tikka Khan (Transporter) & Shahzad Rasool (Contractor) were personally monitoring the movement of vehicles as well as process of the pilferage from the containers.

Under the instructions of Shehzad Rasool, Director of M/s Multitrans Logistics (Pvt.) Limited, Karachi, Security Guards hired by Tikka Khan (Transporter) were deployed on each vehicle who used to get completed all required formalities at every check post of NLC or other agencies.

It has further come on record that absconding accused Shehzad Rasool had personally monitored the transportation of consignment in question right from Torkham to Karachi Port and that he was supervising the task of pilferage of Generators at Ternol, Rawalpindi.

According to a letter dated November 03, 2014 purportedly issued by the Department of Defense, Unites State Force – Afghanistan shows that M/s TransFair North America International Freight Services was mainly responsible for the transportation of the consignment, whereas, M/s Multitrans Logistics LLC was to act as their subcontractor.

On the other hand, two letters dated March 24, 2015 apparently issued by the Consulate General of the United States of America, Karachi that they recommended for issuance of Transit Authorization Permits (TAP) in favor of M/s Multitrans Logistics (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s Ports Connection (Pvt.) Ltd.

It was known that M/s Ghani’s International Bara has acted as Border Agent at Torkham and filed above referred Goods Declaration, however, they have ambiguous declaration on the face of Goods Declaration instead of clear declaration of ‘Generators’ as per Commercial Invoice and Packing List etc. In the circumstances, it is believed that the Proprietor of M/s Ghani’s International was hand in glove with swindle mafia.

Tikka Khan informed the authorities that all the carrying vehicles of the containers were being managed by him right from the place of loading from Afghanistan (Pul Charkhi – Kabul) to port of loading at Karachi Port (PICT).

Tikka Khan disclosed that Jannat Gul, Muhammad Alam and Muhammadullah, his trusted associates, who managed loading of cargo onto respective vehicles from Afghanistan. Further disclosing that Malik Muhammad Mansha of M/s. Malik Brothers (Pvt) Ltd facilitated and rendered him services at Karachi, as such, role of Malik Muhammad Mansha found to be dubious and suspected in a way that he was also in active contact with Shahzad Rasool of Multitrans (Pvt.) Ltd he also facilitated Shahzad Rasool in the processing and documentation pertaining to the subject consignments.

This very fact is substantiated by his email correspondence with Shahzad Rasool. This accused further confirmed that consignment in question was being transported under the specific instructions of Shehzad Rasool of M/s. Multitrans Logistics, Karachi. Accused Tikka Khan during interrogation further categorically stated that as and when and where some problem for the transportation/dealing with the consignment arises out, said Shehzad Rasool came over there and handled all the affairs.

Absconding accused Shehzad Rasool and Tikka Khan used to accompany vehicles convoy carrying subject containers by using their own car.

Investigation from the arrested persons has revealed that  a meeting took place at the office of M/s. Bilal Associates situated at BilawalChorangi Clifton Karachi, Attended by Shahzad Rasool of M/s. Multitrans (Pvt) Ltd, Tikka Khan of Adil Goods Transport Co. Karachi, Shahid Ansari of M/s. Bilal Associates, and Bilal Shahid of M/s. Bilal Associates in the referred meeting Shahid Ansari of Bilal Associates managed to hire services of M/s. Port Connection as a Bonded Carrier.

Ghulam Masood Bawani of M/s. Multitrans (Pvt) Ltd stated that all documentation relating to consignments under reference was prepared and accomplished in the office of M/s Bilal Associates (Pvt.) Ltd.

It is pertinent to submit here that all the requisite documents such as Carrier manifest, Undertaking by the bonded carrier, Registration of vehicles and NLC TAP letters were prepared at the office of M/s. Bilal Associates (Pvt.) Ltd and under the active supervision of Shahid Ansari, Bilal Shahid, Sohail Daud, Manager Operations and Nasrullah of Bilal Associates (Pvt.) Ltd.

It was known that M/s Bilal Associates accomplished the task for preparation of requisite documentation meant for the transportation of consignment; Bonded Manifest was provided by M/s Bilal Associates instead of Bonded Carrier i.e. M/s Port Connections;  hence, the owner of M/s Bilal Associates namely Shahid Ansari played an active role in the commission of the crime.

From the foregoing facts and circumstances of the case it is established that M/s Port Connection (Pvt.) Limited being Bonded Carrier are primarily under legal obligation for effecting safe transportation of US Military Cargo from Afghanistan to the Port of Loading i.e. Pakistan International Container Terminal, East Wharf, Karachi.

It is further matter of rules & regulations that the Bonded Carrier stand responsible for all damages, pilferage, theft etc, en-route Afghanistan to Port of Loading, hence, payment of involved custom duty & taxes is to be paid by M/s. Port Connection (Pvt.) Limited, Karachi.

It is believed that the above named Bonded Carrier was having information with regard to pilferage/illegal removal of goods in question. The facts of the case reveal that they have deliberately avoided to inform customs authorities about pilferage either at customs check posts en-route or at Karachi Port.

This theory of prosecution lends support from the fact that the Directors of Bonded Carrier were deeply connected with the commission of crime, as such, have gone in their hideouts to avoid their probable arrest in this case and so far not tuned up with any substantial and concrete reply in his defense.

In the light of above outcome of investigation carried out so far, it is established that the Directors of M/s. Port Connection (Pvt.) Limited, Karachi (Bonded Carrier) with the active connivance of Proprietor/Partners of M/s. Peerzada Service International, M/s. Ghani’s International, Directors of M/s. Multitrans Logistics (Pvt.) Ltd, Proprietors of M/s. Bilal Associates and Proprietor/Partners of M/s. Adil Goods Transport Co., Karachi, had succeeded in getting pilfered US Army Generators at Ternol, Rawalpindi.