KARACHI: As a functionality gap has appeared after the retirement of DG Customs Intelligence & Investigation Lutfullah virk, the unscrupulous elements are taking advantage of it and smuggling has surged significantly in the last week.
Imtiaz Ahmed, a well reputed officer, has assumed the office of DG Customs Intelligence & Investigation and it routinely takes a little time for things to get situated.
It may be mentioned here that on the directives of former DG Lutfullah Virk, the team of ASO Customs Intelligence was put duty-off for their suspected involvement in pilferage and replacement of transshipment cargo.
Despite being duty-off, these officials are conducting raids to give an impression that they are still on duty so that they could keep minting money out of their contacts committing the crime.
Just a couple of days ago the said ASO teams conducted raids in Plastic Dana market and electronics market. It has been learnt that a superintendent of the ASO team owns billions of rupees worth of assets and has four Land Cruisers in his personal use, while a deputy superintends has also built assets worth billions.
Pilferage and replacement of TP cargo was started in Hyderabad with the connivance of officials and now it has expanded. Sources said that two containers are pilfered and replaced every month inflicting a revenue loss of Rs100 million on each container.
The Customs authorities have already initiated a campaign against TP pilferage and replacement and has arrested one person named Imran Khan.
Sources said that during initial investigations, Imran Khan revealed that he had been doing this dirty business since 2010 with the help of several officials.
A couple of days ago, ASO Division-II of Customs Intelligence headed by Superintendent Najeebullah caught four mini-trucks carrying electronics, which were coming from Quetta. These goods were being pilfered under the cover of officials who have been put duty-off.
Other goods which are being smuggled under the nose of concerned authority into the country include tea, Indian tyre, grease, dry fruits, spices, petroleum jelly, lubricants, etc. Moreover, tiles are being smuggled into the country on a large scale.
Additional Director Customs Intelligence Multan is also said to be involved in smuggling in Punjab.
Sources said that the entire anti-smuggling staff needs to be replaced to control smuggling.