Prime facilitator of EPZ scam arrested
KARACHI: Pakistan Customs has arrested the main facilitator of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) cargo pilferage and replacement of EPZ containers, as the investigations into the case move forward. One Export Promotion Zone (EPZ) Grade-20 Mushtaq Laghari has been identified as the facilitator and was arrested under Section 171 of Customs Act. Investigation Officer Ashfaq-ur-Rahman, Senior Preventive Officer Malak Hashim and Adil Rasheed have been advised by Chief Collector Surayya Ahmed Butt and Collector Saeed Akram to expedite the process and bring the culprits to task. An official said Customs was unable to properly investigate the case because the jobs of a large number of petty officials were stake, which had no knowledge of the scam. The official said that there were no checks and balances on the operations of EPZ and there were suspicions that even the contrabands were being exported. The authorities have already arrested certain accused involved in pilfering and replacing EPZ cargo, and inflicting loss on to the national exchequer. The accused are involved in importing cigarettes, flavored tobacco, betel nut and other goods through mis-declaration for processing at Export Processing Zone (EPZ), but the same were clandestinely removed from EPZ and these goods were then leaked into the market.