KARACHI: Customs authorities might be lodging FIR under Section 32(A) of Customs Act, against M/s Byco Petroleum, M/s KPT for illegally removing a tugboat from the port without payment of duty and taxes and without any authority.

Customs Intelligence Gwadar recently found a tugboat, which illegally removed from port. The vessel belongs to M/s Byco Petroleum.

According to details, Customs intelligence Gwadar on the information of Director General Intelligence & Investigation-Fbr Imtiaz Ahmed Khan, conducted a sting operation, headed by Deputy Director Inamullah Wazir, some 10-KM offshore in the Arabian sea near Churna Island (Balochistan) and seized a non customs paid vessel (tug) ‘Sharief Pioneer’ worth Rs900 million approximately.

The Tugboat was illegally removed from customs port without payment of customs duties amounting to Rs89 million and was being commercially used for gainful employment by a private oil company/refinery without any permission from the competent authority.

The Customs Intelligence Gwadar team was keeping vigilance for many days and caught the Tug red-handed while it was being illegally used for holding an oil tanker ship of a private oil marketing company and imported oil was decanted into sub-sea pipeline.

Legal proceedings against those involved in this mega scam have been initiated under the provisions of Customs Act, 1969. Records from the oil refinery have been sought by the Directorate of Customs Intelligence, Gwadar for further investigation to recover Customs duty and taxes.

As no satisfactory records were presented, Customs is going to serve a contravention report on M/s Byco and M/s KPT, as the boat disappeared from the custody of M/s KPT. Investigations into the entire episode are underway and FIR is expected any sooner.

So far, it has been known that M/s Byco filed a Goods Declaration (GD) at Customs House Gadani and the boat was given into the custody of M/s KPT. The authorities completed the manual GD and handed over to importer for payment of duty and taxes. However, the duty and taxes were paid. Two notices were served on M/s Byco by Collector Saeed Akram and Deputy Collector Tauseef Gorchani for payment of duty/taxes so that the boat could be released. Later, the boat disappeared from KPT.