KARACHI: The Directorate of Intelligence and Investigations (DIT) has pointed out serious flaws in the “Adjudication Proceedings” in cases pertaining to import of steel products.
The mega scam involves over three hundred consignments imported by the different parties/ importers over previous many years and as per investigations, the accusations involved money laundering, evasion of duty and violation of other provisions of Custom laws.
Irfan Javed, Director DIT has written a letter to Iqbal Bhawana, Collector, Adjudication II in which the operative part of the order of High Court of Sindh, Customs Appellate bench was referred to in which court has ordered proceedings “strictly in accordance with law”. The letter said that DIT has observed that adjudication proceedings in 16 cases made by the Customs Export, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim Collectorate have been initiated on the basis of defective, inconclusive, misleading contravention Reports which were prepared without consulting the detecting collectorate and without taking into account material evidence gather by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) of the DIT.
The eleven contravention reports and show cause notices do not contain true/complete details of material facts and the same remains un-served upon all accused parties. The offences committed and relevant provisions of law are also not incorporated in the same, the letter states pointing to lacunas fatal to the cases and advantageous for the accused persons.
The letter requests the Collector of Collectorate concerned to ensure proper, flawless and strictly legal adjudication proceedings plugging all loop holes and ensuring that legal lacunas may not impede the proceedings.
The Collector Adjudication himself has pointed out that Customs (EPZ), Port Muhammad Qasim has been unable to gather all the relevant material facts till sending of Contravention Reports in these cases while the reporting collectorate i,e Customs (EPZ) itself stated that it do not have power to investigate and prosecute money laundering related offences.
An interesting situation has developed so far as the alleged scam detected if proved would be the biggest ever in the history of custom formation in Karachi and may yield billions of rupees evaded so far in an organized manner by the accused parties/ importers. Their seems to be an apparent attempt to cover up the cases by weak contravention reports resulting in favourable orders as a result of adjudication proceedings.