KARACHI: The Collector Appraisement West Mohammad Saleem on the recommendation of Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation has suspended the license of M/s SDS Bonded Carrier and issued a show cause notice in the case of pilferage or illegal removal of goods from transshipment (TP) consignments.

Customnews.pk learnt that DG I&I Lutfullah Virk contacted Dubai Customs and shared details of over 130 consignments that had been imported via Dubai.

Dubai Customs extended all cooperation and informed that IGMs filed at Dubai port pertaining to these consignments declared the goods to be mobile phones, iphones, LED Screens, toys, banned medicines, auto parts. However, the importers in connivance with shipping lines tempered the documents declaring the goods to be such attracting very low rate of duty and taxes such as juices and beverages etc.

The importers then transshipment (TPs) to dry ports throughout the country and the original high value goods were pilfered enroute and the low value goods as declared in the tempered documents were matched, thus inflicting a huge loss to the national exchequer.

Authorities have so far identified over 130 such consignments. It has been known that Rs50 million of duty taxes were evaded on only three containers.

The scam was so fool proof and running so successfully and it could never have been detected, had Lutfullah virk had not contacted Dubai Customs.

It may be recalled that the authorities have lodged FIRs pertaining to five consignments while four importers were also arrested for involvement in the pilferage off TP consignments. The FIRs were lodged against M/s Pak China, M/s Tahir Associates, M/s Moin Enterprises, M/s Afridi & Co and M/s Tariq Enterprises while M/s SDS bonded carrier was also found to be involved in this game.

Sources said that on DG I&I-Customs Lutfullah Virk’s information, Director Peshawar Asghar Khan, Additional Director Ziaullah Shams, Deputy Director Khayal Mohammad initiated the action which led to arrests and lodging of FIRs.

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 wrongfully declared. The declared 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.

An official said it is a mega-scam inflicting loss to the tune of billions of rupees to the exchequer while importers, shipping companies, agents and Customs officials are all involved in this adding that large-scale arrests are expected going forward.