KARACHI: Directorate of Customs Intelligence Quetta has seized seven tankers carrying 200,000 liters of smuggled diesel and arrested 14 persons.

Director Quetta Irfan-ur-Rehman has advised Customs Intelligence Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) headed by Deputy Director Inamullah Wazir to rigorously pursue the ongoing anti-smuggling campaign. Subsequently, a picket was setup in Katcha area of Balochistan and a convoy of seven tankers was intercepted. The smuggled diesel worth Rs35 million was coming from Iran.

The goods along with tankers were seized while 14 drivers of these vehicles were also arrested.

Moreover, Customs Intelligence Quetta confiscated 38 vehicles as part of the crackdown against smuggled vehicles. These vehicles include high-end luxury cars/SUVs.

Sources said that one Land Cruiser V8 was recovered from the possession of a female senator’s son; a Toyota Mark-X was recovered from the possession of a provincial minister of Balochistan.

Directorate has information regarding presence of smuggled goods at various showrooms and godowns and assistance of FC and Police has been sought as a crackdown against these smuggled vehicles is about to begin.

Chief Collector Enforcement South Zahid Khokhar a couple of days earlier visited Quetta and had meeting with Collector Quetta Saeed Jadoon and a strategy was finalized against smuggling.

Zahid Khokhar appreciated Saeed Jadoon for curbing smuggling from Taftan Collectorate where smuggling was on under legal cover.

It may be mentioned here that the politicians and trade bodies in Balochistan only consider smuggling of arms and narcotics as smuggling while illegal and non-duty paid import of all other goods are not considered as smuggling. Hence, the Customs face severe pressure for being lenient against smuggling.

They are of the view that smuggling was the only source of income for the people of Balochistan, but in fact smuggling benefits a handful of people while the common population remains deprived.