Prime accused of transshipment cargo replacement case escapes justice

KARACHI: The major player in the over Rs1.0 billion replacement of transshipment (TP) cargo scam has escaped justice as the case filed was intentionally misplaced.

It may be noted here that this mega scam of replacing high-value/high-tariff goods of the transshipment consignments with low-value/low-tariff goods has caused a loss of over Rs1.0 billion to the national exchequer. Customs collected all the evidences and calculated the loss of revenue of over Rs1.0 billion.

M/s Port Connections (Pvt) Ltd and M/s E-Movers (Pvt) Ltd bonded carriers were the prime players in this scam.

M/s E-Movers escaped all legal action despite the fact an FIR was lodged against the company and a case was established. However, M/s Port Connections faced the music.

Deputy Collector Peshawar Mohammad Zakir Khan forwarded a letter to Collector MCC Appraisement West requesting suspension of licenses of M/s E-Movers (Pvt) Ltd bonded carrier while Collector MCC Peshawar Qurban Ali requested license of bonded carrier M/s Port Connections (Pvt) Ltd in October 2016. Both these bonded carriers were the owners of separate vehicles carrying separate containers, and the high valued goods in these containers were illegally replaced with low valued goods en-route from Karachi to Peshawar causing loss to exchequer.

MCC Peshawar had lodged an FIR against M/s E-Movers dated September 07, 2016 after it was confirmed that the goods in the transshipment cargo had been replaced during transit. Mansoor Shaikh in the meantime had got bail-before-arrest from the Court.

MCC Peshawar in November 2016 summoned Mansoor Sheikh of M/s E-Movers to appear before the investigation officer.

Deputy Collector Mohammad Zakir Khan moved the case file to Collector Peshawar that the subject bonded carrier had not joined investigations and did not responded to official summons. Moreover, the vehicles that were involved in the replacement of transshipment (TP) cargo, were still in operations.

Mohammad Zakir Khan moved the file to Collector Peshawar Qurban Ali that the Customs must approach the Court seeking suspension of the bail before arrest of Mansoor Shaikh. But, the file was misplaced and no appeal was filed before the Court against the bail before arrest of Mansoor Shaikh.

Similar was the response of MCC Appraisement West and Collector Dr. Fareed Iqbal Qureshi and did not take any action against M/s E-Movers. The license was not suspended and the vehicles involved in the crime were not blocked.

However, owners of M/s Port Connections remained in jail custody and his license was suspended. Owner of Mansoor Shaikh owner of M/s E-Movers remained immune to justice.

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