Transit Trade officers demoralized as smuggling cartels grow in power

KARACHI: Additional Director Transit Trade Rehmatullah Vistro resigned last week. Now that details behind his resignation come to light, it raises serious questions on the authority of the system as well as it had dampened the morale of officers of Directorate of Transit Trade.

Officers became the victims of a cartel of illegitimate traders (smugglers), whom enjoy much influence in the FBR and government.

Recently, one Qazi Habibur Rehman of M/s Ittefaq Agencies lodged a complaint with Director General Transit Trade Ahmed Raza alleging that Directorate of Transit Trade Karachi officers were employing delay tactics causing them losses.

Director General Transit Trade Ahmed Raza scheduled a hearing in this regard. However, when the officers reached the DG’s office, they found that the complainant was already sitting in the office of Director General Ahmed Raza. More interestingly, Ahmed Raza refused to hear the officers. Later, Director and Additional Director were transferred from their offices at Directorate of Transit Trade.

Moreover, it was propagated that the cartel involved in wrong doings and got Director and Additional Director transferred to warn other officers of consequences, if they didn’t cooperate.

Vistro had been on his posting for 11 months while usually officers are given postings for a two year term. Dishearten and demoralized, Rehmatullah resigned.

The complainant is a part of cartel involved in smuggling of transit goods back to Pakistan and also replacement of goods from Transit Trade containers during transit. These elements had one Appraiser posted at KICT. Sources said the offices of Asad Umar and Jehangir Tareen were used for the posting of the said Appraiser at KICT, whom was transferred to QICT.

The job of the said Appraiser was to get the Afghan transit consignments cleared without the mandatory stamps on goods bearing that these goods are only consumable in Afghanistan.

Sources said the complainant and his associates didn’t want the transit goods to be scanned because scanning detects mis-declaration.

Several parliamentarians from KPK and Baluchistan are part of this cartel, which is ‘business on done basis’ since long.

It may be mentioned here that many FIRs have been lodged against certain members of this cartel in past.

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