KARACHI: Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation–FBR (Customs Enforcement) has lodged against M/s Al Hameed Enterprises and M/s SARAS International clearing agents for smuggling out black spotted turtles in the garb of fresh potatoes.
According to details of the case Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad communicated an information to Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad that recently on account of a news that appeared in social media regarding seizure of black spotted turtles in Malaysia, the Malaysian CITES authorities were approached by the Ministry seeking details of the incident.
In response it was communicated that Royal Malaysian Customs on 2nd June, 2016 seized a consignment of 508 black spotted turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) at Port Kiang, Malaysia concealed in a containerized consignment of fresh potato which was exported from Karachi, Pakistan.
It was further reported that out of 508 seized turtles, 483 had expired during shipment while remaining 25 were alive. The Malaysian authorities confirmed that the shipment was made by a Karachi-based exporting firm namely M/s. Al Hameed Enterprises.
Since trading / export of wildlife species included in Appendices I, II, III of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is totally prohibited, the Ministry of Climate Change requested FBR to launch immediate investigation of the incident and take stern legal action against the offenders.
Scrutiny of relevant export data revealed that under-reference consignment declared to contain fresh potatoes of Pakistan origin was shipped by M/s. Al Hameed Enterprises, Karachi to M/s. STF Trading filed through clearing agents M/s. SARAS International.
The consignment was cleared/allowed shipment from Pakistan International Container Terminal through Green Channel of Customs Computerized System on declaration without physical examination and assessment through MCC, Exports, Custom House, Karachi.
FIR has been lodged against the exporter and clearing agent and investigations are under way.