SHC issues notice to Customs on application by AMI

KARACHI: The Pakistan Customs was put on notice for April 22 in an application filed by AMI Pakistan (Ltd) by a divisional bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan here on Thursday.

Pakistan Customs seized the bench with the hearing of a constitution petition seeking protection to the Directors of the petitioner company from action on charge of smuggling Indian cloth.

The applicant prayed to the court to direct the Model Customs Collectorate (MCC), Appraisement, West to place names of each custom officer who was responsible for scrutiny of the import manifest and Bill of Landing, based on which consignments were released.

The application also seeks information about progress in case FIR registered on 21-1-2016 against the petitioners and other co-accused including a clearing agent and shipping agent. The FIR alleged contains reference to custom officers who were involved in alleged fraud that drew the Pakistani cloth industry to the brink of closure.

According to application, petitioner prayed to the court to order Custom’s collect orate concerned to inform that what action was taken against United Marine Agencies, Arif Humayun, CEO of AMI at relevant time and the clearing agents who allegedly connived in the alleged crime.

According to customs, thousands of consignments from Indian were brought to Dubai and then shipped to Karachi while the documents showed the goods to be of Chinese origin. The shipper’s manifest was tampered to get the goods released. The net result was flooding of local market with Indian cloth.

The bench also heard the consul for Pakistan Customs and said it never restrained the custom officials from putting questions to the petitioners including wife and sons of Capt (Rtd) Haleem Siddiqui.

The petitioners maintain that they are directors of the company but reaped no benefits. The bench earlier restrained the Customs from arresting or taking any action against directors of the AMI Pvt Ltd.

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