AMI case hearing adjourned as United Marine Shipping company enters controversy

KARACHI: The hearing of a constitutional petition filed by AMI International was adjourned till May 13, 2016 by a divisional bench of High Court of Sindh comprising Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan.

The petitioner including wife and sons of Capt (Rtd) Haleem Siddiqui, directors of M/s AMI Pakistan moved the court alleging harassment at the hands of custom officials. They maintained that they are non-active directors and non-beneficiary.

They maintained that company was run and managed by hired professionals who were given free hand to increase the business.  The bench on a previous hearing stayed customs from any harassment to the petitioner but asked customs to send them a list of questions about alleged crime.

Khalid Javed Khan advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted that petitioner has leveled serious allegation against his client M/s United Maritime Company shipping agents. They (AMI) have tried to shift the burden onto them absolving themselves of the alleged crimes. “We intend to clarify our position”, the counsel for M/s United Marine Company submitted.

The bench allowed the request and allowing time to the applicant put off the hearing till May 13, 2016.  The bench also allowed time to Pakistan Customs for submitting report and counter affidavit in respect of custom officers and officials involved in a mega scam of clearing of goods of Indian origin dominantly Indian cloth in connivance with importer, shipper and shipping agent causing loss to national textile industry.

It was known that services of two officials of M/s AMI Pakistan namely Noman and Sahira have been terminated by the company. These two officials are under Customs custody.

It may be mentioned here that even after M/s AMI Pakistan held above two officials responsible for all the wrongdoings and even issued notices to these employees, both Noman and Sahira were represented by lawyers hired by M/s AMI Pakistan.

Noman in his earlier statement maintained that the directors of M/s AMI Pakistan were not involved in the fraud. However, in his second statement, Noman told investigating officer that company was the actual beneficiary of the scam and added that they were not well aware of the Customs laws.

Noman maintained that changing the port of loading and origin of the imported goods in IGM was being done since years as per the company policy and they did not even know that something wrong was being done.

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