KARACHI: The Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) of MCC Preventive Karachi has lodged an FIR against M/s Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited and several others for tax evasion and smuggling of petroleum products in the territorial waters of Pakistan.
Information was received through Collector Saquid Saeed to the effect that M/s Byco Petroleum Pakistan is involved in the supply of smuggled/non-duty/taxes paid High Speed Diesel (HSD) to the vessels operating in the sea, particularly for consumption by tug boats and fishing boats operating within Pakistan Customs Territorial waters through a barge namely “Wania-11”.
Pursuant to the said information, a team of ASO, Marine Section, was constituted and dispatched to foil the attempt. The team proceeded in the Customs speed boat namely Al-Aqrab, and reached at the specified areas according to the information.
The suspected barge was spotted in the open sea near Charna Island. The operations manager of the boat namely Shahbaz Khan informed that there were 280,000 liters of HSD in the barge. During the search, foreign currency $13,200 were recovered from the boat while the quantity of the HSD was around 230,000 liters.
The barge along with the crew members on board and loaded cargo was stopped from proceeding further. The Goods Declaration (GD) of M/s Byco Petroleum filed by M/s Khurshid Aziz and Sons, Custom Clearing Agents, was examined.
The GD presented by the operation manager was filed u/s 24 of the customs Act 1969 for supply (export) of HSD to an outgoing tug boat namely MT Mallard and the diesel was declared to be tax paid in the said GD.
Section 24 of the Customs Act 1969, contains provisions for bunker supplies and such supplies to outgoing vessels and are chargeable to Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED) and Petroleum levy in the instance case. Although it was declared on the GD that the goods were Duty Paid no evidence of Duty and Sales Tax payment could be presented.
Accordingly, M/s Byco Petroleum was asked to produce Tax Invoices pertaining to their cargo loaded on the said barge which was duly received in the company’s Head office located in Clifton Karachi the same day. In addition, staff of M/s Byco Petroleum Terminal located at the Oil Installation Area, Keamari was approached for provision of required documents. Despite allowing reasonable amount of time M/s Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited, could not produce required tax documents which amply prove that the company is involved in tax evasion and smuggling of the petroleum products.
The recovery of foreign currency from the barge carrying the company’s goods to be delivered to an outgoing vessel further point towards an organized smuggling activity taking place in the territorial waters of Pakistan.
Thus the wooden barge Wania-II, along with High Speed Diesel and Foreign Currency recovered from the barge were seized. An FIR is lodged and investigations are underway.
Collector Preventive Saquid Saeed has formed two separate teams. One team is headed by Additional Collector Haroon Malik, which is investigating involvement of oil marketing companies involved in supply of smuggled Irani diesel to fuel stations in the country. This team comprises Deputy Collector Muhammad Asim Awan, Superintendent Jamal Zia, IPS Iftikhar Hasan and others.
The second team is headed by Additional Collector Umar Shafique and comprises of Assistant Collector Umair Zahid, Principal Appraiser Saeed Soomro and his team. This team is investigating money laundering and under-invoicing pertaining to import by oil companies.