NAB asks Customs Court to transfer case to Accountability Court due to involvement of Customs officials

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi has approached Special Judge (Customs & Taxation) Karachi praying to transfer the case, pertaining to import of electronics and grey fabric in garb of used clothing, to the Administrative Judge, Accountability Courts, Karachi.

The Judge (Customs & Taxation) Karachi has fixed December 19, 2019 for arguments in this regard, and the hearing would be attended by representatives of both NAB and Customs.

NAB Karachi has authorized inquiry against officers/officials of Customs Department and others regarding illegal import of electronics and grey fabrics in the garb of second hand clothing causing loss to national exchequer. It may be mentioned here that used clothing and scrap was included in Green channel under a plan, which was against the practice.

This case, against Muhammad Idrees and others, is pending adjudication before Customs Court.

NAB Karachi submitted that the accused persons committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices as defined in National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

NAB submitted during the course of aforesaid inquiry, it transpired that the accused persons in connivance with relevant officers/officials of Customs Department and others committed the offence of illegal import of electronics and grey fabrics in the garb of second hand clothing in violation of laws and rules.

One of the prime objects of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 is to recover the state/public money and to retrieve other assets from those persons, who have misappropriated or removed such money or assets through corruption and corrupt practices by misuse of power or authority.

NAB submitted Ordinance has primacy over all contemporary legislations therefore it is imperative that proceedings be transferred to Judge Accountability Courts, Karachi.

NAB sources said they had gathered evidence confirming involvement of Customs officials in the scam.

Keeping in view the gravity of the offence and the reasonable possibility of recovery through the process of Plea Bargain, it would be proper and just that above noted cases may be transferred to the Administrative Judge Accountability Courts, Karachi.

An official said there were certain issues with the Plea Bargain process of NAB, as the Bureau made deals just for the fraction of the money made through corruption. The official said persons involved in corruption of billions of rupees got clean chit through Plea Bargain after paying just millions. This issue needs to be looked into or it will hurt the credibility of NAB..

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