KARACHI: MCC Exports PMBQ has lodged an FIR against known accused for attempting to remove imported goods out of Export Promotion Zone (EPZ) in the way of theft.
Customs Preventive had submitted an incident report citing that the EPZA Intelligence Staff and Security Staff intercepted a Toyota Hilux Vigo Double Cabin vehicle while trying to illegally remove the non-duty paid iron & steel sheets 800 pcs, approx 500 kgs which was lying on top of the roof and rear loading space of said vehicle from kepz exit gate, which was otherwise an attempt of theft.
The said vehicle along with the goods were however handed over to Customs Preventive staff at gates of KEPZ after completing the necessary formalities. However, neither the incident report submitted by the Customs Preventive staff posted at KEPZ nor the detention report from Shift Inspector (Gate), KEPZ mentioned names of the persons involved in the aforesaid illegal act and boarding the detained vehicle.
As reported by the driver of the vehicle, goods were loaded from the premises of M/s. Royal Impex (Pvt.) Ltd., KEPZ. The vehicle is registered in the name of M/s Cosmos Trading Development who happened to be a custom house agent and one of the directors of M/S. Steel Vision (Pvt.) Ltd., KEPZ.
The initial inquiry from Customs Preventive staff posted at KEPZ as well as from the Shift Inspector (Gate), KEPZ revealed that two persons were boarding the aforesaid intercepted vehicle; however, managed to flee/escape from the incidence place of KEPZ gate while the staff was busy in unloading and counting of the loaded steel sheets.
M/s. Royal Impex through a letter denied any involvement as well as ownership of the detained goods and vehicle. It was further stated that the detained item has never been imported by M/S. Royal Impex and also requested to check CCTV footage of all the units engaged in the import/export of the detained goods.
It is mentioned that 208 containers declared to contain iron & steel sheets were earlier detained by the Directorate General Intelligence & Investigation-Customs, Karachi out of which 09 consignments were imported by M/s. Royal Impex while 02 consignments were imported by M/s. Steel Vision for which import GDs were also filed through their designated Custom House Agent M/s. Cosmos Trading Development.
The CCTV footage confirmed the persons who fled from the gate taking advantage of darkness as well as exit of huge number of vehicles and laborers were identified to be Asim & Waqas. Furthermore, the examination of CCTV footage record of M/s. Z.A Enterprises neighbourer of M/S. Steel Vision further confirmed that intercepted vehicle left the premises of M/s. Steel Vision, which was subsequently intercepted and detained at the Exit Gate of KEPZ.
KEPZ has been requested to provide maximum backup data of entry and exit of the detained vehicle to ascertain the gravity and frequency of the such/akin removals of steel products while adopting the same modus-operandi.
M/s. Steel Vision has also been directed to provide complete data of imports and exports of the imported products especially ETP steel sheets to reconcile the same through a comprehensive stock taking exercise.
The study of modus-operandi has so far established that the owners/directors of M/s. Steel Vision (Pvt.) Ltd., KEPZ, in connivance with their associated partner Muhammad Abdullah and Custom House Agent M/s. Cosmos Trading who is also one of the Directors of M/s. Steel Vision knowingly and willfully kept on attempting to remove imported goods in parts in the way of theft through their employees Asim and Waqas.
Further investigation is underway as CCTV footage record of movement of the detained vehicle from entry and exit gates is still awaited to ascertain the frequency and intensity of the illegal removal of dutiable goods by way of theft.