KARACHI: MCC Port Qasim has foiled an attempt to smuggle foreign liquor into the country under the garb of diplomatic consignments.

Information was received by Collector Port Qasim Ashad Jawwad regarding import of large quantity of liquor under the garb of diplomatic consignments. Embassies and diplomatic missions are accorded a quota by the Ministry of foreign Affairs for the import of liquor.

One such consignment was lying at MCC Port Qasim for the last three months, and the Collector had information that liquor way in excess of the quota and other banned items were in the said consignment.

The Collectorate was in contact with Ministry of Affairs for examination with the Embassy representatives, as the Goods Declaration (GD) had been filed by M/s World Ocean Center on behalf of Embassy of UAE.

After several reminders and lapse of three months, Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that Embassy of UAE had disowned the consignment.

Therefore, R&D team led by Additional Collector Ali Zaman Gardezi, Deputy Collector Wasif Malik, Principal Appraiser Imran Gul, Appraising Officers Anwer Zeb and Ehtesham Paracha conducted the examination of the container, which led to recovery of 6,000 bottles of whiskey of European origin.

An official said diplomatic consignments were used to smuggle liquor and other goods since long and the incidence of such import increased around the Christmas and New Year. It was known officials of several embassies were involved in this dirty business.

It may be mentioned here the Green Channel and diplomatic consignments are the primary means of smuggling and border smuggling is just around 20 percent of the total smuggling into the country.

Sources said the seized liquor is placed in state warehouses, where most of these goods are replaced with coloured water filled bottles, which are destroyed in the presence of photo crews.

An official said government should devise a system so that the seized liquor could be sold to diplomatic missions or exported abroad, because destroying these goods serves no purpose. Only 10 percent of the seized liquor is destroyed as most of these goods have already been replaced while government does not get any revenue.

If such liquor is sold to diplomatic missions or re-exported abroad, government would earn revenue as well as avoid replacement of the liquor with coloured water.