Crackdown launched against sugar millers involved in sugar export subsidy scam

KARACHI: The Customs Collectorate Peshawar has sealed two godowns and seized 7,000 bags of white refined sugar as the commodity was to be exported to Afghanistan, but it was being sold in the local market. The sugar bags were marked as the produce of M/s Chaudry Sugarl Mills, which is owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif family.

The godowns sealed include one named Ainullah, where 3,000 bags were seized while the other godown was not identified, even no one appeared to claim the ownership of the facility and the commodity.

It was learnt that two officials of Customs pretending to be customers reached the said godowns for purchase of the sugar. The sugar bags offered to them were actually to be exported to Afghanistan and it was even written on the bags ‘Only for export to Afghanistan’.

Sources said that the authorities are conducting raids to recover the sugar, which was to be exported to Afghanistan and was being sold in the local market.

Moreover, Director Intelligence & Investigation Customs – Peshawar received information that a huge quantity of sugar with each bag duly stamped as for export to Afghanistan had been illegally dumped/disposed locally.

A team was constituted headed by Deputy Director to detain such sugar by visiting terminals pointed out by the informer. The sugar was purportedly being exported to Afghanistan in the garb of fake and forged documents.

Meanwhile, in pursuance of another information two persons were interrogated and forged and fake GDs were recovered. On scrutiny of PRAL data it transpired that 18 GDs were tampered in the system of M/s PRAL.

The exporters in respect of these 18 GDs include M/s Chudry Sugar Mills, M/s Bawany Sugar Mills, M/s JDW Sugar Mill, M/s Ashraf Sugar Mill, M/s Thal Industry Corporation and M/s Hunza Sugar Mills.

These exporters made the tampering in the system with the help of PRAL staff at Torkham for fake export of sugar under the subsidy scheme of the Economic Co-Ordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) intimated by the Ministry of Commerce.

This act on the part of exporters and clearing agents amounts to commission of fiscal fraud as the accused have not made actual and factual export. Whereby, besides depriving the state of foreign exchange worth $2.439 million have also caused huge loss to revenue of the state in terms of export development surcharge (EDS) and withholding tax (WHT).

The said taxes are leviable on export indigenous products at 0.25 percent and 1.0 percent respectively. A part from the export taxes, the exporter also evaded the amount of Rs19.804 million on account of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on local supply as well as fraudulently attempted to avail the huge amount of subsidy of inland freight at Rs 2.0/Kg and cash subsidy of Rs8.0/Kg on export of sugar as per Economic Co-ordination Committee.

The Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation has forwarded for lodging of FIRs against above mentioned exporters and customs clearing agents.

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