ASO Preventive getting tough time as anti-smuggling drive continues

KARACHI: ASO Preventive Karachi is facing extreme pressure and harassment by parliamentarians backed smugglers as the anti-smuggling drive gains pace.

Certain elements are lodging complaints against ASO staff, while influentials including parliamentarians are pressurising Customs staff.

ASO of MCC Preventive Karachi Sunday raided a warehouse namely Akbar Godown in Metroville Banaras area and seized one container of smuggled cloth, while there warehouses were sealed.

It may be mentioned here ASO had recovered large quantity of Cutch block from the same warehouse earlier. M/s Imran Enterprises lodged a complaint before Customs Court claiming their legally imported Cutch blocks were seized by ASO Preventive.

M/s Imran Enterprises is the biggest trader of Cutch, which is used to dye leather. It is interesting to note the importers claim Cutch seized by ASO was imported in 2017, and it was still at the warehouse till December 2019, when it was seized by authorities. Even more interesting is the fact that Cutch expires in six months.

The price of Cutch was Rs2000/block in 2017, now it is Rs8000/block, and yet the importers did not dispose of the inventory.

The import of Indian Cutch was banned in 2018. It is largely used in manufacturing gutka, which is hazardous for human health. Now it is routed from Dubai and Malaysia, and smuggled.

An official said the consumption at leather factories was quite limited, and it is largely used in manufacturing gutka.
Following the complaint lodged by M/s Imran Enterprises, Collector Preventive Saquif Saeed and Additional Collector Haroon Waqar Malik formed a committee to investigate the veracity of complaint.

An official said the committee noted in it’s report that when the premises was raided, everyone escaped and no one appeared before the Customs staff.

The report noted the seized goods were smuggled, but subsequently the importers presented old and fake GD and documents to cover their illegal business.

It noted the unscrupulous elements used old GDs and allied documents to hoodwink the authorities.

The committe noted FIR is lodged and investigation is underway, all the evidence would be presented before the court.

ASO has been super active against smuggling and made several cases.

Meanwhile, information was received through Collector Saquif Saeed regarding presence of smuggled goods at Akbar Godown. A raid was conducted led by Deputy Collector Muhammad Asim Awan and Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan, while Additional Collector Haroon Waqar Malik monitored the operation and coordinated with Police and Rangers.

As the raiding team reached the spot hundreds of persons from warehouses and nearby areas gathered and created law and order situation.
An official said the smugglers had installed cameras in the area, which alerted them of the raid.

ASO staff managed to bring a container of smuggled cloth at ASO premises, while three warehouses were sealed. The detained container is of Afghan Transit Trade.

The seized goods belonged to the same trader whose goods were seized in Tariq Road sometime back.

An official said the warehouse in Metroville Banaras were full with smuggled goods.

Senior officer said complaints will keep coming as they were working against smuggling and pressure was being exerted by parliamentarians.

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