Customs Intelligence approaches Supreme Court against Collector Adjudication, High Court

KARACHI: Directorate General of Customs Intelligence & Investigation has filed CPLA before the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the order-in-original passed by Collector Adjudication Asif Marghoob Siddiqui and the interim order passed by Sindh High Court.

Collector Customs Adjudication Asif Marghoob Siddiqui has ordered immediate release of paper and paper products seized by Customs Intelligence & Investigation.

The said paper products were 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.

Asif Marghoob Siddiqui, on the grounds that 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), ordered the release of smuggled goods.

Directorate of Customs Intelligence & Investigation approached Appellate Tribunal against the order-in-original passed by Collector Adjudication. Meanwhile, Sindh high Court in an interim order, directed to release the seized goods, which had been established to be smuggled.

Directorate is of the view that the impugned order-in-original and the interim order passed by High Court are not sustainable under the law. If allowed to stay, the orders will cause grievous and recurring injury to the national exchequer and will open floodgates for smuggling and disposal of prohibited/notified goods by unscrupulous elements in the open market.

An official said Collector Adjudication Asif Marghoob Siddiqui was not counted among reputed officers, and he faced certain corruption related inquiries.  It is worth mentioning that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) ordered Siddiqui’s transfer from the office of Collector Adjudication, however, Siddiqui obtained stay order against the transfer orders from High Court.

An official said judiciary, particularly Adjudication and Tribunal level, were the main reasons that national exchequer as well as the economy was suffering. Government’s revenue to the tune of billions of rupees was stuck-up in litigation cases. These legal forums are according undue favors to the unscrupulous elements for obvious reasons.

Karachi Export Promotion Zone (KEPZ) is the hub of smuggling and revenue evasion. Several companies at KEPZ are involved in smuggling of goods including the prohibited items, while Customs has detected several mega scams, which are under due process.

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