KARACHI: Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi has seized 18.4 tons of fresh suiting cloth, which was being cleared in the garb of used clothing from MCC Appraisement West for Export Promotion Zone Karachi (KEPZ).

This case of mis-declaration is the result of investigations in a week earlier seizure of betel nut, which was cleared from MCC Appraisement East in the garb of used clothing for KEPZ.

An official said the import consignments destined for KEPZ are not examined at the port. The KEPZ consignments are examined at KEPZ providing unscrupulous elements ample opportunity to replace the cargo during the transit.

There have been several mega scams in the past wherein EPZ investors, clearing agents, and transporters connived to commit fraud.

Pertaining to this case, a briefing was given to Director General Customs Intelligence and Investigation Abdul Rasheed Shaik by the ASO team comprising Additional Director Rana Tasleem Deputy Director Tauseef Gorchani, Senior Intelligence Officer Muhammad Sadiq. Director Khalil Yousafani upraised the DG on investigation proceedings and resultant developments.

Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi initiated investigations against Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Investor and others including M/s SAS Pvt Ltd, M/s Sarhad Logistics Pvt Ltd for importing banned items in the garb of goods meant for EPZ, and then disposing the smuggled goods during the transit.

Additional Director Rana Tasleem, Deputy Director Tauseef Gorchani are focused on KEPZ and due to their vigilance the illegal removal of goods to local markets under the garb of garbage also stopped.

An official said goods imported duty-free at KEPZ were being supplied to local markets/commercial markets for a long time as these goods including electronics, auto parts, cloth, contraband items etc. were moved from KEPZ in garbage dumpers concealed under thin layer of trash, and all this business was running under the patronage of KEPZ officers.

An official said this was not the first time KEPZ investors indulged in smuggling. Many of the KEPZ investors and KEPZ officers were involved in smuggling and misuse of the facility.

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