KARACHI: MCC Appraisement East has lodged an FIR against several persons including officials of M/s Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) for fraudulent clearance and delivery of fabric consignments by cross shifting of the cargo after examination by Customs.

M/s Esso Co. International imported four consignments of grey fabric from UAE and filed Goods Declaration. The collectorate in persuasion of a credible information that Indian origin banned grey fabric was being imported from UAE kept surveillance on consignments reaching from UAE.

Later on, it was known the Grey Fabric imported by M/s. Esso Co. International had been got cleared fraudulently by stuffing the same in some other containers. GD log reports of above GDs reflected that the importer held up the consignments by not accepting Order-in-Original generated for non-recovery of invoice from the containers or on the stage of assigned to gate out.

To check the veracity of the information all the four containers mentioned on GDs of M/s. Esso Co. International were re-examined and astonishingly the goods were found replaced with jumbo plastic dustbins in three containers and mattresses in fourth.

On further perusal of the matter it was found that the goods found in those containers were actually imported by M/s. Uzair Enterprises, Lahore. The goods imported by M/s. Uzair Enterprises, Lahore were examined and processed accordingly and the same were released on payment of leviable duty and taxes.

Further probe into matter reflected that it was a planned crime as two consignments were imported and got placed for examination  at the same time. On completion of examination by Customs staff and endorsement of examination report the goods were re-stuffed in those containers according to the desired/planned manner to place Fabric in container originally carrying plastic dust bins and vice versa.

The items imported by M/s. Uzair Enterprises, were of least value as the same attracted duty & taxes to the extent of Rs700,000 in all four cases as against consignments of Fabric of higher value attracting duty & taxes over Rs7.0 million. Hence M/s. Uzair Enterprises, Lahore by this fraudulent manner took delivery of four consignments by depriving government exchequer to the extent of Rs6.32million.

MCC Appraisement East has lodged an FIR against Yasir Rashced of M/s. Uzair Enterprises, Lahore and officials of PICT.

It may be mentioned here that PICT has been found involved in many other scams and other businesses owned by the family of Capt. Haleem Siddiqui such as M/s AMI Pakistan are facing investigations in switch bill of lading case. However, the cases against them are not properly pursued and in certain cases minor penalties are imposed.

Sources said Chief operating officer (COO) of PICT Khurram Aziz Khan was also being investigated. He was CEO of QICT in 2007-08 and at that time around 287 containers went missing from QICT.

It may be mentioned here that container terminals including PICT, QICT, Gerrys and Pak Shaheen have so far been found facilitating crimes and frauds and inflicting loss to the national exchequer.