KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has reduced the penalty of Rs3.0 million imposed on M/s Limsa Agencies Bonded Carrier to Rs1.0 million as it was involved in aiding and abetting pilferage of transshipment goods.

According to the details of the case presented before the Appellate Tribunal, M/s. Limsa Agencies (Pvt.) Limited were handed over containers stuffed with imported goods destined from Karachi ports to Peshawar Dry Port which were not properly accounted for at the port of destination.

As a result, an audit team was constituted by the Collectorate to probe into the matter. After inquiry, the audit team reported that eight containers transported by Limsa Agencies were not presented, along with their required documents to the Dry Port at Peshawar, for examination, assessment and payment of legitimate duty and taxes.

It was further observed that the M/s Limsa Agencies Bonded Carrier had also violated the sub-rules 4 and 5 of Rule 336 within the prescribed period of transshipment of the imported goods. The bonded carrier who was obliged to submit quadruplicate copies of transshipment permit to the authorities of Dry Port in accordance with law did not do this, which is violation of Rules.

It was also brought into the notice of Tribunal that the signature and stamp of the Customs Officer, Dry Port Peshawar, on the manifest were found forged.

Perusal of the record further highlights that after initiating proceedings by the prosecution agency, the importer deposited the legitimate duty and taxes of pilfered goods which shall be deemed an admission of guilt by the bonded carrier.

The Tribunal further observed that M/s Limsa Agencies (Pvt) Limited, were also penalized in an identical ease, in which the licensing authority had imposed a penalty of Rs200,000.

The Tribunal observed that the matter in hand pertains to the year 2006. Considerable time has lapsed since the onset of this litigation. Tribunal noted that charges against the bonded carrier were established without any shadow of doubt. However, keeping in view the length of proceedings, Tribunal takes a lenient view and accordingly the penalty of Rs3.0 million imposed by Customs Adjudication is hereby reduced to Rs1.0 million.