KARACHI: MCC Peshawar has lodged 16 FIRs against M/s Jans Builders, Peshawar the importer and M/s JS Bank Shaheen Complex Branch being the facilitator in the import of vehicle mounted machinery, which otherwise is banned to be imported as per Import Policy Order 2016.

According to the details of the case, information was received from Collector Peshawar Qurban Ali that M/s Jans Builders construction company, Peshawar was involved in the import of specialized vehicle-mounted machinery prime movers, concrete mixers and dump trucks in violation of Import Policy Order 2016, Import and Export Control Act, Foreign Exchange Regulations Act and Foreign Exchange Regulations issued by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Scrutiny of the case revealed M/s Jans Builders opened letter of credit dated October 10, 2015 for a sum of $3.2 million with M/s JS Bank Shaheen Complex Branch Karachi for import of construction machinery. AS the LC was opened before issuance of the Import Policy Order 2016 dated April 18, 2016, therefore the said company could import construction machinery older than five years in terms of Import Policy 2013 as the provisions of the current IPO 2016 were not applicable.

In terms of of Foreign Exchange Manual, 2016 read with relevant provisions of Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1947, validity of a letter of credit can be extended by the authorized dealer/Bank for further period of one year, provided there has been no change in the Import Policy/Exchange Regulations, relation to the importability of the goods, the country of origin/ shipment and method of payment, if approached within its validity.

In the case in hand, the L/C was revalidated on October 17, 2016 for a further period of one year by M/s JS Bank in violation of para ibid when change in the IPO had been brought in relation to the importability of the aforesaid goods.

Hence, machinery and transport equipment as imported by M/S Jans Builders were not importable but the said construction company imported the same in violation of provisions of IPO, 2016. Therefore, the old and used machinery and transport equipments were seized accordingly.

Meanwhile notices under Section 26 of the Customs Act, 1969 were served upon M/S Jan Builders and M/s JS Bank Ltd for provision of certain information and documents. The matter was also referred to State Bank of Pakistan which also confirmed the view point of the Collectorate regarding illegal revalidation of the LC by M/S JS Bank Limited Shaheen complex Branch Karachi.

It is established beyond any shadow of doubt that M/s Jans Builders with the active connivance of M/s JS Bank Ltd while violating the certain provisions of law imported those machinery and transport equipment which were not importable.

As many as 16 FIRs have been lodged and investigations are under way.