KARACHI: Hyderabad Customs has geared up their extortion drive in the month of Ramazan forcibly taking money from legitimate importers to release their legally imported consignments at Hyderabad dry port, Vice Chairman Pakistan Karyana Merchants Association Tanveer Chaudry said.
Chaudry said a Custom official named Rana was running this entire enterprise and Rs1.5 million needs to be paid to the Rana’s peon for the release of every container.
He informed that a legally imported consignment of coconut (crushed) and spices was stopped on March 31, 2021 and was not released until a bribe of Rs1.5 million was paid to the customs.
Not just legitimate importers and traders are extorted, Hyderabad Customs is also facilitating smugglers. Sources said smuggled goods can easily be transported anywhere in the country through Hyderabad.
Sources said the deals between smugglers and Customs officers have already been finalized, sources said.
According to sources Customs Hyderabad is at the center of this entire game, which would deprive national exchequer of its legitimate revenue, but fill the pockets of certain Customs officers and officials.
Sources said Abdul Qadir Memon has recently been posted as Collector Hyderabad, who is is a very honest and well reputed officer. However, a system has been devised by the officers to keep him toothless. A collector is helpless if his subordinate staff is supported by even higher officers to facilitate illegitimate business.
MCC Hyderabad has a very large jurisdiction ranging from Nooriabad to Obaru, and flow of smuggled goods has to pass through the jurisdiction of MCC Hyderabad to move to the markets of Punjab.
It is known that ‘Done Deals’ are being made by traders and smugglers for door-to-door delivery of smuggled goods.
Sources said PTI government had launched an effective anti-smuggling campaign and the flow of illegal goods had been stopped to a maximum extent. However, the deteriorating law and order situation and political turmoil created by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had diverted government’s attention, and the unscrupulous elements took full advantage of the situation.