The curious case of Non-Custom-Paid (NCP) vehicles

KARACHI: Non-Custom-Paid (NCP) vehicles are plying on roads in a large number because politicians, officers of government department and law enforcement agencies use these vehicles, while Excise and Taxation Department officers enable registration of these vehicles.

These vehicles are usually smuggled from neighboring countries.

On the complaint of Mukesh Chawla that ministers of Sindh government were using NCP vehicles, ASO Preventive staff on the directives of Collector Saquif Saeed stopped at vehicle at Badar Commercial DHA Karachi and checked the vehicle.

The said vehicle was under the possession of a Sindh government minister. Its data was checked, but it was found legally imported and clear. But, previously, Superintendent Irshad Shah and his team had seized a vehicle from the possession of the same minister, which was non-custom-paid, and it was confiscated.

Sources said senior officers of Excise and Taxation were involved in the registration of NCP vehicles. The cars that are registered are cleared through auction conducted by Pakistan Customs.

Customs issues a letter of auction to the winner in the auction, and then these vehicles are registered by Excise and Taxation.

An official said Excise and Taxation staff confirms the data of imported cars from PRAL and does not need an NOC from Customs. But, there is no data of auctioned vehicles in PRAL.

A large number of smuggled vehicles, trucks and trailers are registered with Excise and Taxation cleared from Custom auction.

It may be mentioned here the vehicles caught in transporting smuggled goods for the first time are released after payment of penalty equivalent to 20 percent of the vehicle value. However, their numbers are recorded in the system.

On the other hand, vehicles caught second time are confiscated outright and then auctioned. Vehicles having secret cavities to conceal smuggled goods are confiscated the first time and then auctioned.

Sources said the owners of vehicles caught first time in smuggling, file application for re-registration of vehicles. Excise and Taxation department allots a new number, and therefore these vehicles have two number plates and registration documents.

An official said Customs staff usually stop and seize low and middle level vehicles, and high value luxury vehicles are not usually seized.

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