QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is determined to end smuggling. Pakistan Customs is taking the lead in this effort.

Customs Quetta in two separate operations seized large quantity of smuggled goods and transporting vehicles worth Rs131 million.

Information was passed through Collector Irfan Javed that huge quantity of high valued contraband goods (f/o Cloth) would be smuggled into the country from Afghanistan via porous border points, the Customs officials and staff posted at Noshki was directed to maintain liaison with officials of intelligence agency for joint operation against the anticipated smuggling of goods.

Accordingly, the Customs staff recovered smuggled cloth. The approximate value of seized goods along with vehicle used for carriage of smuggled goods is Rs 31 million.

It is further added that the intensified anti-smuggling drive by Customs as well as with the support of Law Enforcement Agencies has resulted in manifold increase in seizures of contraband/smuggled goods and vehicles.

Moreover, in pursuance of the directives of Member Custom (Operation) & Chief Collector Balochistan, a meeting was held between Deputy Collector Customs Dalbandin and Commander 29 Brigade.

During the meeting it was decided to intercept Zamyad pickups entering into Pakistan from Afghanistan loaded with smuggled goods in Siaboz, Neelipat, Ledarek and Recodiq areas.

Resultantly, 23 Zamyad Pickups loaded with foreign origin contraband goods i.e. tyres, Betel Nuts, Cloth, auto parts were detained by 29 Brigade at Pak-Afghan border in tehsil Nokkundi district Chaghi with coordination with Customs Dalbandin and Nokundi.

The approximate value of seized goods along with vehicles used for carriage of smuggled goods is Rs 100 million

Member Customs – Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tariq Huda has been assigned this task by Prime Minister to route inflow of smuggling goods to the legal channels, and then discourage unnecessary imports.

Excessive imports are not only a burden on natural resources but also put local industry at a disadvantage.

Largest border which is still open is with Iran as border with Afghanistan is already fenced. Government is determined to eliminate smuggling from Iran.

In past, Pakistan continued to support Iran and Afghanistan and ignored smuggling with these two countries.

Collector Preventive Quetta Irfan Javed has been phenomenal against smuggling and due to this reason, Irfan Javed is continuing as Collector Quetta.  Chief Collector Gul Rehman, another high profile officer, is continuing in his office. Sources said there are quite a few honest officers such as Yasim Murtaza and Umar Shafique.

Umar Shafique has been posted Additional Collector, which shows authorities are determined to solve this issue. Moreover, Deputy Collector Quetta Akbar Jan is also an able officer.

An official said flow of smuggled goods has been reduced to the minimal as not just Customs, all other law enforcement and intelligence agencies are on the same page.

Sources said top military and government officials are monitoring this anti-smuggling campaign.