KARACHI: Influx and sale of smuggled goods is set to surge as the ASO of MCC Preventive has been rendered toothless with the transfer of Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan to MCC JIAP, sources said.

Market is abuzz with the news that ASO of MCC Preventive is now open for business with certain officers/officials ready to make deals with smugglers and traders.

Moreover, there are reports that attempts are being made to bring certain officials with questionable reputation to ASO Preventive. However, Collector Preventive Saquif Saeed and Additional Collector Haroon Malik are resisting these appointments much recommended by highly influential quarters.

It was also known that some other members of ASO Preventive might also be transferred.

According to sources, news has been circulated in the concerned circles that all smuggled goods can easily be transported and distributed in Karachi against a ‘fee’ of around Rs2.0 million/container.

The ASO Preventive Karachi team led by Additional Collector Haroon Waqar Malik and Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan in the field had been very efficient and reduced the transportation and distribution of smuggled goods to a significant extent.

An official said there was a time when the entire containers of smuggled goods were easily moved to the markets across the city. However, Collector Saquif Saeed formed the ASO team, which instilled a sense of fear to such an extent that a little quantity of smuggled goods were moved in the city and that too in Suzuki Pick-up and Suzuki Hi-roof vehicles.

Spearheading this anti-smuggling drive was Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan. Recently, Chief Collector Saifuddin Junejo transferred to MCC JIAP. As questions were raised on this transfer order, certain quarters began character assassination of Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan.

Sources in Customs claimed that there had been no complaint filed against Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan till the filing of this report.

However, it is likely that some importer would lodge a bogus complaint against Iftikhar Hasan to justify his transfer.

An official said Superintendent is an officer of unquestionable integrity and had seized smuggled goods worth billions of rupees and safely transported these goods to state warehouses.

The official said it was quite ridiculous to allege that Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan was involved in stealing seized betel nut, while there has been no audit of the seized inventory.

It may be mentioned here that there is no legal import of betel nut at all because of the stringent regulations, which means that all betel nut in the state warehouses is smuggled.

Certain Customs staff are trying to paint Superintendent Iftikhar Hasan a bad guy and that too on the basis of a non-existent complaint by an established smuggler.

Collector Saquif Saeed and Additional Collector Haroon Waqar Malik could not be contacted to comment on the issue.

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