Over a dozen more Customs employees to be suspended

KARACHI: Over a dozen more Customs officials are likely to be suspended as charge sheets have been served on them for negligence or involvement in the clearance of 113 vehicles from Torkham Customs Station without filing of Goods Declaration.

Federal Board of Revenue FBR had formed a team comprising Hamid Ali Shah Chief R&A and Nisar Ahmed (BS-19). The committee was tasked to determine the losses to exchequer caused due to clearance of vehicles without GD, as well as identify the officers and officials involved in the act.

On the recommendation of this team, charge sheets are being served on over a dozen Customs employees. These officials would be suspended in a day or two.

Earlier, FBR had formed a JIT chaired by Arslan Subuctageen and comprising Collector Peshawar Muhammad Saleem, Collector Khalil Yousafani and Rashid Habib Director I&I Peshawar.

The JIT had found that 941 vehicles arrived at NLC terminal from Torkham and got out of NLC gate without ever reaching to Customs. No duty and taxes were collected on these goods.

Moreover, 113 vehicles coming from  Torkham were cleared from Torkham Customs without filing GD.

Sources said one Superintendent Ata-ur-Rehman was the ‘contractor’, as he collected bribes from the vehicles carrying  coming, from Afghanistan and deposited the sum to high ups.

Moreover, Deputy Collector Torkham Tahir Khattak, Additional Collector Torkham Arbab Qaiser and Collector Peshawar Ihsan Ali Shah are also said to be patronizing the scam.

An official said former Member Customs Zahid Khokhar wrote five letters to FBR requesting investigation into the scam, but no action was taken. An inquiry was initiated on his sixth letter as the issue had come into the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PM also referred this case to FIA, but FIA has not been able to reach the actual culprits because of unknown reasons.

It may be mentioned here that PM Imran Khan has launched many long due reforms in FBR, most important of which is the unprecedented anti-smuggling campaign. Imran Khan is moving in the right direction slow and steady. There are opportunist elements in his ranks that have come from other political parties, and these elements are slowing Imran Khan down. However, these corrupt and inefficient elements in the government are being rooted out one by one.

Imran Khan has introduced many reforms to stabilize the economy as well as ending the corruption and poverty. Ahsaas Program has been the most transparent and successful program, which reached the actually deserving people.

As PM Imran Khan pursues his agenda, the country is on the path of stability and prosperity.

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