KARACHI: The investigations against three ex-chairmen of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) — Salman Siddique, Abdullah Yousaf and Ali Arshad Hakeem for alleged corruption and misuse of authority in award of computerization of FBR to a foreign company M/s Agility is progressing fast.

As the investigation agencies have collected valuable details pertaining to the entire ordeal, more Customs officers are likely to be included in the inquiry.

The scam caused a loss of Rs100 billion to the national exchequer through tax evasion by using PACCS (Pakistan Automated Custom Computerised System) pilot project during 2005-06.

The decision to hold the inquiry was taken in a meeting of the Executive Board of the NAB. Besides the three former chairmen of the FBR, ex-Collector Customs Mian Azhar Majeed, Member PACCs Team Iqbal Muneeb, and Additional Collector Customs Ashir Azeem Gill are also accused.

Sources said PaCCS was launched in 2005 at KICT and then it was implemented at QICT and PICT without any agreement or legal documentation. Moreover during 2005-2007, all the consignments that were cleared from PaCCS were not checked by any intelligence agencies.

The intelligence agencies including Customs Intelligence were barred from checking or examining these consignments and nobody known whatever was cleared in those consignments.

The investigation authorities have evidence that the Customs officers under investigation were actually the Agility and all correspondence with the government of Pakistan by the name of M/s Agility was carried out by these officers.

M/s Agility is a Kuwait-based company having its main server in US. It is rumored that the entire scheme of PaCCS was actually a check on country’s overall imports and exports including those of sensitive nature.

It may be recalled that the sensitive agencies of the country were not satisfied with this program and all the defense related and government imports were made through One Customs.

It was known that Additional Collector Ashir Azeem Gill went to Canada on 2-month leave, but he did not return for two years. Then Collector found out that the PaCCS system was being operated rather manipulated from Canada and then all the administrative IDs were blocked.

Afterwards Mian Azhar Majeed and Ashir Azeem drafted an agreement according to which the entire Customs operations were to be privatized to PaCCS Private Limited. Mian Azhar Majeed was nominated the project director by Agility. However, the agreement could not be signed and the scheme was not materialized.

The investigation agencies have also found out connection of the above mentioned officers into the scam of 147 containers, which went missing from QICT in 2008.

Investigation sources said that no evidence was found that could link Iqbal Muneeb with the scam.  Moreover, the intelligence report also does not substantiate involvement of Iqbal Muneeb into the entire ordeal.