Customs I&I Lahore unearths huge fiscal fraud, books culprits

KARACHI: The I&P branch of Customs Intelligence & Investigation Lahore has lodged an FIR against M/s Marush International for committing fiscal fraud by mis-declaring actual transactional values and submitting fake documents and invoices pertaining to import of poultry vaccines, medicines and nutrients etc.

Information was received through reliable sources to the effect that the importer namely M/s Marush International, Lahore  with its sub-office in Karachi is engaged in imports of poultry vaccines, medicines, nutrients etc., and causing colossal loss of custom duty & other taxes by massive mis-declaration of value by suppressing the actual transactional value of the imported goods by way of submission of fake import invoices and other documents before Customs for clandestine clearances. Moreover, illegal import of poultry medicines/vaccines by presenting fake/irrelevant provisional authorizations of the Drug Regulatory Authority, Pakistan.

The informer also provided copies of proforma invoices which showed factual values of the goods imported by the above firm. In order to verify the veracity of the information, the import record of the above firm was retrieved from PRAL which was cross checked with the above documentary evidences.

It was revealed that the above firm had been mis-declaring actual value of the imported goods at a massive scale since years. It was further revealed that custom clearance of all the import consignments was made through M/s Aun Associates Clearing Agency, Karachi.

Initially, 11 Goods Declarations were scrutinized which revealed that factual values were much higher than the values declared in the Goods Declarations which inflicted loss of duty & taxes around Rs34.5 million. The scrutiny of rest of the import record is underway which is likely to unearth further fraudulent evasion of duty/taxes of millions of rupees.

A warrant was acquired and premises/warehouse of the importer was searched. The persons, available at the premises identified as Shahzad Aslam and Mubashir Nawaz. The search of the premises resulted in recovery of certain items of poultry vaccines/medicines etc.; and three CPUs computer, certain import accounts record, original invoices, blank airway bills, which were seized for use as evidence.

Both the above persons namely Shahzad Aslam and Mubashir Nawaz Akhtar were also arrested. Similar exercise was also undertaken at Karachi office of the importer firm and consignment-vise import documents, fake stamps of foreign suppliers and fake stamps of Meezan Bank Limited, blank letter head pads of foreign suppliers etc. were also recovered which were taken into possession and accused Muhammad Zia Uddin of M/s Marush International, Lahore was also arrested.

FIR is lodged against Dr. Muzammil hussain Shah, Mohammad Usman Ali Shah, Mohammad Ziauddin, Ansar Mehmood, Shahzad Aslam, Mubashhir Nawaz, owners of M/s Marush International, Lahore. Investigations and further proceedings are underway.

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