KARACHI: Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi has lodged an FIR against M/s Laiba Industries Pvt Ltd and several others for illegally removing goods from Export Processing Zone (EPZ) to local markets and warehouses.

Information was received through Director Yaqoob Mako to Additional Collector Rana Tasleem that some elements were involved in the illegal removal/clearance of foreign origin fabric from Karchi Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) on the basis of fake documents causing loss to exchequer.

Deputy Director Tausef Gorchani formed a team led by Intelligence Officer Muhammad Sadiq to mout strict surveillance and foil any attempt of such illegal removal/clearance of fabric.

Subsequently, Customs I&I staff intercepted five Mazda trucks near Karachi airport. During preliminary investigation, the drivers of the vehicles disclosed the cloth was loaded from a warehouse near KEPZ for its further transportation towards Godhra.

The drivers are asked to produce legal import documents in support of lawful possession and transportation. The drivers provided Gate Pass, Weighment slip issued by KEPZ Weighbridge and permission of Principal Appraiser MCC Export (PMBQ), EPZ pertaining to Gate Pass.

The Gate Pass had been issued by M/s Laiba Industries in favour of M/s Ahmed Dying, SITE Area showing delivery of textile fabric. It was also known the permission of Principal Appraiser EPZ was in connection with dying, finishing and processing of fabric.

Examination of the intercepted trucks found that the fabric on these trucks was foreign origin finished fabric, which was illegally and fraudulently removed from KEPZ under the cover of irrelevant documents.

It was also known that fabric removed from KEPZ loaded on five trucks as mentioned in gate passes have already been dumped at a private warehouse of M/s United Enterprises.

The warehouse of M/s United Enterprises in Landhi was searched, which led to recovery of large quantity of foreign origin fabric.

The fabric loaded on five trucks and that found at the warehouse has been seized and an FIR is lodged against M/s Laiba Industries, and drivers f the trucks. Investigations are underway.

Sources said a practice of illegal removal of goods from Export Processing Zone to local market was on for some time and EPZ officials were involved in this business. It was also known that goods were being removed from EPZ in garbage dumpers with goods hidden underneath the trash.

It was also known that Customs officials did not have much authority in EPZ due to EPZ Laws and the writ of Customs could not be fully implemented.


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