MCC Appraisement East seizes large quantity of betel nuts and fireworks

KARACHI: MCC Appraisement East has seized huge quantity of betel nuts and fireworks, which had been cleared for export processing zone (EPZ) through mis-declaring the goods as job-lot plastic films.

According to details, M/s Insiyay Packages EPZ, Karachi had imported these consignments and filed Goods Declarations for EPZ through M/s Gatco clearing agent in One Customs clearing system. The containers of betel nuts had been gated out from South Asia Container Terminal while the firework container had been loaded on the vehicle and was still at the terminal.

Information was passed through Collector Appraisement East Saeed Akram, and a team was constituted comprising Deputy Collector Mohammad Ali Malik, Principal Appraiser Dost Mohammad, Appraising Officers Ashfaq-ur-Rehman, Azam Shah, Mohammad Bilal, Saleem Qaimkhani, Amir Hussain and staffers Adil Rasheed, Samar Hussain.

The team made their move early in the morning and found the beatle nut containers in Korangi. Later, the team found the firework container at SAPT loaded on the vehicle.

It may be mentioned here for import consignments for EPZ, a GD is filed like the transshipment permit (TP) and the goods are escorted by an squad of Customs Preventive.

Two containers were stuffed with 25 tons of betel nuts each valuing Rs120 million while the fireworks seized are valued at Rs5.0 million.

As many as 700 containers of beatle nut are stuck up at ports after the imposition of regulatory duty. Due to which the rates of beatle nut has shot up from Rs400/kg to Rs2300/kg.

The betel nut containers were brought back to the terminal where EPZ Customs officers including Deputy Collector Ghulam Mohammad, Appraising Officer Abid Ullah examined the goods.

It was known that after a brief dispute on jurisdiction, Chief Collector Appraisement Abdul Rasheed Sheikh and Chief Collector Enforcement Manzoor memon agreed that Customs Appraisement will pursue the case.

Source said three seals were intact on the containers including tracker company seal, shipper seal and PCCLL seal.  An official said when the tracker company was contacted, it was found that they did not have complete travel logs.

It may be mentioned here that beatle nut import is subject to certain certifications and NOCs and attract heavy duties.

Intelligence sources said that the case was one of a kind adding that this practice was going on for over year.

Investigations are underway why the Customs Preventive squad was not escorting the containers. Moreover, it is being investigated the process of

Collector Saeed Akram has appreciated Malak Hashim, Principal Appraiser Dost Mohammad and his team.

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