PCA books importer, clearing agent under Anti Money Laundering Act

KARACHI: In pursuance of a complaint lodged in Prime Minister’s portal (PMDU) and forwarded by the Chief Collector (Appraisement-South), Director Post Clearance Audit Karachi Ashraf Ali conducted an audit of imports of M/s Bahum Associates Pvt Ltd.
As a result of the audit conducted by Deputy Director Shoib Raza and evidence collected; willful tax evasion through massive under-invoicing using manipulated and fabricated invoices had prima facie been established.
PCA Lahore and Islamabad are also carrying out similar audits of clearances of the importer M/s Bahum Associates made through MCCs in their respective jurisdictions.
The UK based exporter/supplier M/s. Mayphil, on specific queries confirmed that invoices submitted by delinquent importer, M/s. Bahum Associates (Pvt) Limited, Lahore at the time of import were not original, altered without their knowledge and did not reflect correct pricing as had been reported in M/s. Mayphil (UK) Limited and United Kingdom Customs authorities.
The extent of under-invoicing and evasion of duty and taxes is reportedly to the tune of Rs280 million and Rs186 million respectively.
On the instructions of Director General Seema Bukhari, an FIR has been lodged by the PCA Karachi against the importer. Then Additional Collector Farrukh Sajjad had pursued this case.
This is the first FIR in the history of Post Clearance Audit (PCA) on the directives of Director General Seema Bukhari. Earlier, PCA only served Contravention Reports for Adjudication and the criminal proceedings were skipped against the offenders.
Since the issue involves the aspect of trade-based money laundering, cognizable offence under the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, the matter is being referred to the Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation-Customs for further action.
It may be mentioned here that PCA is extremely short of staff, which is one of the reason that PCA did not lodged FIRs.
Due to shortage of staff, PCA is usually unable to pursue prosecution.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.