QUETTA: An illegal business enterprise allegedly run by traffic police officers in Baluchistan and apathy on part of senior Customs officers is causing a significant loss to the national exchequer.
Baluchistan and KPK are the hub of non-custom-paid vehicles and vehicles with tampered numbers. Government is pursuing a rigorous anti-smuggling campaign across Pakistan, and smuggled goods as well as non-custom-paid vehicles are being seized across the province.
Pakistan Customs is the sole authority to confiscate the non-custom-paid vehicles and vehicles with tampered numbers. Other agencies such as Police can seize such vehicles, but then these have to be handed ovr to Pakistan Customs for due process i.e. auction. Vehicles with tampered numbers cannot be auction and remain in use of government offices.
However, Police is seizing NCPs and vehicles with tampered numbers, but these are not handed over to Pakistan Customs. Over 600 vehicles are lying abandoned in the custody of Traffic Police Baluchistan, and these are depleting as parts and accessories have allegedly been stolen out of these vehicles in the Police’s custody.
Sources claimed one SP rank of Traffic Police officer was running this entire enterprise as a front man for further high-ups. Several inspectors are said to be involved. It was also known that whenever owners of the seized vehicles approach traffic police demanding that the seized vehicles be handed over to Customs for auction, the traffic police receives bribes ranging Rs30,000 to Rs150,000 depending on value of vehicle for handing over these vehicles to Customs.
It may be mentioned here that the owners of confiscated vehicles have the first right of refusal in case of a tie, if they participate in the auction.
An official said the vehicles were depreciating fast losing the value, which results in huge revenue loss to the national exchequer.