KARACHI: The Anti-Smuggling Organization (ASO) Hyderabad is found to be involved selling seized and confiscated contraband items in the market causing loss to the national exchequer and filing their own pockets.

According to details, a few days ago, Customs Hyderabad seized a truck loaded with 30 tons of betel nut. This seizure was made on the information passed by an officer of a sensitive agency.

After the goods and vehicle were seized, a seizure report was made. But interestingly, the ASO Hyderabad staff only mentioned 8.0 tons of betel nut instead of actual 30 tons. It may be mentioned here one ton betel nut costs Rs700,000.

At the time the seized betel nut in the vehicle was taken to the state warehouse, the goods were removed in three other vehicles and were taken to Hala Naka, Faqir pir Hyderabad and Tower market Hyderabad and were sold for Rs10 million.

It was also known that when the seized goods was deposited in the state warehouse, it was only one ton betel nut and 7 tons were the crushed seed of dates.

Collector Abdul Qadir Memon got wind of this ordeal and formed a team led by Assistant Collectors Manomal and Amjad Lal Junejo. Superintendent HQ Iqbal Mangrio and Superintendent ASO Asad Mirza were also part of the team.

The investigation in this regard is going on and the report is expected in a day or two. An official said the involved would be taken to task.

It may be mentioned here, Federal government has expressed concerns over the unchecked transportation of smuggled goods to the far flung areas of the country.

It may be mentioned here that these three Custom stations are very important as smuggled goods are transported from Quetta, Baluchistan via Hyderabad, Sindh to Multan, Punjab for onward distribution.

FBR has also initiated an investigation on how the phenomenon of transportation of smuggled goods from the border areas of Balochistan is taking place, in spite of the fact that ASO Quetta, ASO Hyderabad have presence at checkposts on all important routes, to intercept these vehicles carrying smuggled goods from Balochsitan to Punjab, Sindh & KP.

An official said smugglers used many tactics and infrequent routes, and even FC had powers to seize goods and their check posts were properly manned and equipped than Customs.

“Before pointing fingers on Customs it must be noted that how much manpower, training and arms we have, further if we can’t fire a bullet to stop the vehicles carrying goods or shoot smugglers. Government takes work of enforcement agency from us but we have to do facilitation work. There are many factors that play role, we are nothing more than scapegoats and people who matter are somebody else. With such a lean security of Customs officers, no can expect them to do miracles,” an official said.

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