KARACHI: The Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) Preventive Karachi has arrested Aslam aka Aini as investigations into the clearance of high value goods in the garb of used clothing make progress.
Aslam was arrested after an already arrested accused Imran Khan shared valuable information with the ASO team led by Deputy Collector Akbar Jan and IPS Iftikhar Hasan. Imran Khan was arrested from Askari-IV a few days ago in relation of clearing high value goods and restricted goods in the garb of used clothing from green channel. He is also involved in fraudulent removal of seized/confiscated containers and replacement of transshipment cargo etc.
ASO Karachi had first detected the scam that high value and high tariff goods are being cleared from green channel in the garb of used clothing and scrap. Subsequently, MCC Appraisement East made two cases and lodged FIRs.
Aslam aka Aini is already nominated in several FIRS but never was arrested before. Imran Khan has admitted clearing several consignments of various high value and restricted goods in the garb of used clothing through green channel in connivance with the Customs officials. Customs authorities have obtained extended remand of Imran Khan
Sources said R&D Appraisement East was intentionally weakened through frequent reshuffling of staff, and then a Principal Appraiser was brought at R&D East and all the good R&D officials were transferred. The said Principal Appraiser is quite close to a very senior PCS officer.
After setting the ground and appointing a handpicked Principal Appraiser at R&D East, over 1,000 consignments of the accused imran khan and Aslam were cleared from MCC Appraisement East, of which only 25 containers were examined initially and around 1,000 consignments were cleared without the examination despite that all these consignments were marked to yellow channel.
An official said Imran Khan and Aslam were actually the hidden faces, which the Customs has identified and nabbed adding certain other hidden names would come up soon.
As part of the scam, assessment officers including Principal Appraisers and Assistant Collectors did not create examination for any of these consignments. It is to be noted that even consignments of multinational companies were marked for examination.
Sources said Customs authorities are investigating the case and there is thin chance of any breakthrough in the investigations as Customs is protecting its assessment officers of Group-IV and senior officers who are involved in this crime.
An official said in the previous regime, used clothing and scrap was included in green channel, which opened the flood gates of corruption resulting in revenue loss to the government as well as influx of restricted and prohibited goods.
An official said the judiciary always favored the accused by granting stay orders and bails to the accused in frauds and other crimes adding this attitude of judiciary was an impediment in the way of smooth and comprehensive investigations.