FIR lodged against a cartel involved in fraudulent clearance of seized/confiscated consignments

KARACHI: MCC Appraisement West has lodged an FIR against several accused for illegal delivery of seized/confiscated betel nut and other high value banned items by way of substitution/swapping of consignments through tampering of container numbers, seals etc.

Customs authorities have already arrested the accused including Muhammad Waqar of M/s Qaari Traders, Farasat Ali of M/s Impex International, Imran Khan s/o Saif-ur-rehman of M/s Saif-ur-Rehman & Brothers, Nasir Khan, Nisar, Nasir Barkat Ali, Waleed Ali, Ibrahim, Muhammad Saleem, M/s Facilities Shipping Agency and certain staff of M/s Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT).

Investigations are proceeding, and raids are being conducted to arrest other associates in the crime. Member Customs Agha Jawwad is taking personal interest in the case and he has issued directives that the case is taken to its logical conclusion.

According to details, information was received through Collector MCC Appraisement (West) Wajid Ali that some unscrupulous persons were trying to get the delivery of an already seized and confiscated container of “betel nuts” against a consignment of “Used Clothing” through manipulation / substitution / swapping of consignments and tampering of container number.

Deputy Collector Falik Sher along with Additional Collector Saeed Wattoo, Principal Appraiser Shafiullah, Appraising Officer Ghani Soomro rushed to KICT and spotted a consignment of 40-feet container ready for delivery at gate-out of KICT. The said container was intercepted and grounded in the examination area, which found the container stuffed with 27.48 tons of betel nut instead of “Used Clothing” as per the declaration.

Further scrutiny of the container revealed that there was difference in the container number printed inside and outside of the intercepted container.

It was known that the unscrupulous elements imported consignments of low value goods and replaced/substituted the imported container with already seized/confiscated containers through tampering in the container numbers. This way, the accused attempted to get delivery of goods seized and confiscated.

Facts have revealed that a criminal racket is being run by the importers, management and staff of container terminal, shipping agents, transporters and other associates.

This import of consignment by M/s Qaari Traders was part of a conspiracy and a treacherous end-to-end plan from port of loading to port of clearance / destination to substitute it with an earlier seized and confiscated container of “Betel Nuts”.

It was also known that another container of seized goods had also been switched with low value goods, therefore, clear involvement of the Terminal Operator/Custodian in the forgery and fraud of clandestine substitution and removal of high value and revenue incidence consignments with low value, low revenue incidence consignments is established.

Consequent upon approval from the competent authority, this FIR is lodged accordingly for in-depth investigation into the matter; to determine the extent of fraud and to apprehend the actual culprits involved in this crime.

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