KARACHI: Collector Customs Adjudication Asif Marghoob Siddiqui has ordered immediate release of paper and paper products seized by Customs Intelligence & Investigation, as the Customs Intelligence & Investigation had no authority to seize consignments imported into Karachi Export Promotion Zone (KEPZ), or exported out of Karachi Export Promotion Zone (KEPZ).
According to the charges 42,370 Kg of foreign origin standard/new offset, carbonless and craft (bleach) paper was smuggled by M/s IAS Trading, M/s Maha Traders, M/s Ateeq Traders, M/s Euro Pack Industries, M/s Shan Corporation, M/s United International Industries and M/s Modern Plastic Industries from KEPZ to tariff area in the garb of upgraded/recovered paper/board cut to size from imported rejects/waste/stock lot material in violation of the Ministry of Industries’ directives.
Similarly, smuggled non-duty paid various standard/new/prime quality paper and paper products, BOPP and other plastic items, plastic molding compound and diapers etc. weighing 1,075,495 Kgs were recovered from the godown situated at Landhi Industrial Area, Karachi along with import and other documents.
According to the department as no relevant legal documents for the impugned goods to the satisfaction of the case making department were produced, therefore, the charges were framed against Sarfaraz Sardar, Syed Adnan Nasir, Ismail Zakaria Godil of M/s IAS Trading and M/s Maha Traders, Muhammad Attique of M/s Ateeq Traders, Karachi and M/s Euro Pack Industries, Mohammad Ismail of M/s Shan Corporation, M/s United International Industries, M/s Modern Plastic Industries.
The accused contended that they are not involved in any wrong doing or violations of the law and all the actions carried by them was in accordance with the relevant law and procedure.
After detailed deliberation of the case, Asif Marghoob Siddiqui noted the goods had been lawfully imported into KEPZ and accused had every right to import and carry on their business within the confines of law. For the goods exported out of KEPZ the duty was paid on prime quality material recovered from stock-lot Job lot goods imported into KEPZ.
Goods produced/manufactured or processed in KEPZ were imported into tariff area and cleared in accordance with law, while the Department also exercised powers to seize the goods legally exported out of EPZ on capricious charges as if these were being smuggled.
Siddiqui noted this contention is absolutely incorrect as neither the goods were entering into tariff area from any unauthorized route nor any evasion of duties was involved as goods were assessed on specific customs value and assessable duties were fully paid. As regards goods seized in the godown, Collector Adjudication said Department failed to come with any concrete and plausible argument or any proof that said GDs were fake.
Collector Adjudication noted the actions of Directorate of Customs Intelligence Karachi are in violation of law as they had no authority to seize the consignments who imported the goods into KEPZ or exported out of KEPZ units and ordered to release the goods.