Attempt to set Customs Laboratory on fire foiled
KARACHI: Deputy Collector MCC Preventive Muhammad Asim Awan foiled an attempt of setting Customs Laboratory on fire, and detained two sepoys and one official of the laboratory. According to details, Muhammad Asim received information that a fire had erupted at Customs Laboratory situated on the 10th floor of Custom House Karachi the other day. Deputy collector rushed to the Custom House at 3.00 AM and found the burners at the Laboratory had been left on. Had there been any delay, a fire could have engulfed the laboratory as well as Custom House. Additional collector Umar Shafique and Deputy Collector Muhammad Asim Awan detained two sepoys and an official of Customs Laboratory and investigations were initiated, whether it was a mistake or a deliberate attempt. It may be mentioned here that the role of Customs Laboratory has been quite questionable since long. An official informed that Customs Laboratory was involved in illegal practices and importers/traders could obtain any sort of favorable report against payment of 10 percent of the evaded amount. Customs Laboratory is preparing OK reports for banned, expired and even hazardous items. The samples received by the Laboratory are also switched against payment of bribes. This entire illegal activity is run by one Laboratory employee Shams, who has been suspended often in the past. It is because of the connivance of Custom Laboratory that large number of banned and expired goods were cleared, while importers have been evading huge amounts of government’s legitimate revenue.