SHC bars Custom Intelligence & Investigation from arresting steel importers

SHC bars Custom Intelligence & Investigation from arresting steel importers

KARACHI: The High Court of Sindh has barred Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi from arresting the accused nominated in the FIRs lodged by the directorate regarding smuggling of imported gods in KEPZ and evasion of duty and taxes by certain steel importers. However, the Court has ordered the petitioners including Rubina Begum and others to cooperate with the investigations. Rubina Begum is the mother of Muhammad Abdullah partner in M/s Cosmos Trading Development. He is also the CEO of M/s Steel Vision Pvt Ltd KEPZ. Through instant petition, petitioners sought quashment of 5 FIRs registered by the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) Karachi on the allegation of smuggling of imported goods in KEPZ and evasion of duty and taxes by the petitioners and other accused persons, on the grounds that the consignments which were lawfully imported, meant for Export Processing Zone, duly assessed, cleared, rendered out of charge and exported to Tariff Area in the year 2018 have now been alleged to be smuggled goods, whereas the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) Karachi has no jurisdiction or authority to lodge FIRs, particularly, when such goods have neither been seized nor sent for examination purposes to the Classification Committee. Zain Jatoi the counsel for the petitioner contended Customs Intelligence & Investigation will never be able to establish a case against the petitioners of smuggling or violation of Export Processing Zone Authority Rules, 1981 as alleged smuggled goods were neither detained nor the same are available for inspection or verification as to whether the same were of prime quality or secondary quality. The petitioner also sought protection against the possible arrest by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation. Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi has lodged 5 FIRs against several persons for smuggling of the impugned goods to KEPZ, evasion of government revenue through mis-declaration, submission of tampered and fabricated documents and money laundering. The FIRs have been lodged against M/s Hassan Steels, M/s Steel Vision (Pvt) Limited, M/s Zubair Steel, M/s Steel Vision (Pvt) Ltd, M/s Cosmos Trading Development, M/s Baluchistan Engineering Works and M/s Integra Trading Company, M/s Muhammad Rizwan and Brothers and M/s Royal Impex.
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