KARACHI: Since its inception in 2017, the Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation-FBR (Customs) Hyderabad has made numerous seizures besides preventive work.

During the current financial year (July to November 2019), 92 seizures worth Rs.167.452 Million have been made which are higher by 70.41% over the corresponding period last year. Moreover, there has been an increase of 162% in the value of seizures for the month of November 2019. The seized items include Iranian tiles, Iranian diesel, tyres, betel nuts, Indian gutkha, cigarettes, Iranian crockery, dry fruits, cloth, auto parts, NCP vehicles and other miscellaneous goods.

During the abovementioned period, 29 numbers of non custom paid (NCP) vehicles were also seized as against 16 in corresponding period. The Directorate through its Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) have conducted successful raids and interception. In Collaboration with Sindh Rangers, it made out 27 numbers of seizures on sharing information and effective execution.

The Directorate has conducted 2 auctions during the current Financial Year and has collected Rs.48.768 Million besides collecting Rs.4.638 Million as duty and taxes from confiscated goods and vehicles. The Directorate is strategising its resources to further enhance its performance through vigorous planning, hard work, discipline and team work.

The Directorate covers an area of 137,134 Sq km and constitutes Regional office at Hyderabad and Range office at Sukkur with two mobile squads. The Directorate does not operate any check posts. However, there are number of check posts of various LEAs on the main highways. Besides highways, the smugglers use unfrequented routes and attempt smuggling in the cover of public transport and piecemeal activities.

A survey was also conducted to trace major dumps of smuggled goods. There is consumption of Iranian goods, dry fruits from Afghanistan and transit items. The routes from Jacobabad and Kashmore are commonly used for smuggled goods. Effective surveillance lead to making seizures at these routes resulted into considerable decrease in activity.

The Directorate believes in concerted efforts to curb the menace of smuggling. Regarding the recent proposals the Directorate is of the view that any strategy should involve capacity building, new recruitments, and logistic supports. Border controls are pivotal to an anti-smuggling strategy. Once the smuggled goods enter the mainstream it is very difficult to apprehend because of multiple factors including public safety which makes policing an uphill task. Most of the people indulge as carriers who have no other opportunities of livelihood.

The business community may also contribute by refraining from investing in smuggled goods. The cost of smuggling is considerably on higher side. The magnitudes of smuggling is detrimental to national economy. Awareness campaign, import facilitation, trade liberalization and efficient enforcement with modern technology over short term and long term can reduce and control smuggling and movement of contraband goods. An inter agencies debate with other stake holders must be initiated to devise an effective anti-smuggling strategy. The newly established Directorate has significant achievements in establishing writ of law.

The Directorate’s team comprises Director Dr. Sadiqullah Khan, Additional Director, Syed Naeem Akhtar and Deputy Director Syed Muhammad Raza Naqvi. The diligent work force is performing at their best with the aim of achieving organizational goals and assigned targets.