KARACHI: Customs and law enforcement/intelligence agencies have agreed to adopt the collective strategy and effectively coordinate with each other in the national interest to counter the menace of smuggling.
A meeting in this regard was held at MCC Enforcement Karachi on Tuesday, which was attended by senior officers of Customs, Police, Rangers, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence (MI) among others.
It was decided the Intelligence Bureau will provide CDRs and other technical support needed for identifying location of smugglers and absconders. The meeting also decided to establish joint Check Posts of Customs, Police and Rangers. While, another rigorous and well-coordinated crackdown will be launched against the outlets selling smuggled goods.
An official said several mega marts offering lucrative discounts such as Imtiaz and Chase were involved in selling counterfeit and smuggled goods.
A presentation about anti-smuggling strategy and operation against illegal POL outlets as well as merchandize goods conducted in the last six months was presented to the participants to update them about the seizures made by the Anti-smuggling Organization of Pakistan Customs.
The underlying objective of this initiative by the Federal Government is to establish working relationship between all the law enforcement agencies to enhance the operational capacity of Pakistan Customs so that they can jointly operate in the crackdown on smuggling.
The Collector of Customs Enforcement emphasized on the enhanced collaboration between all Law Enforcement Agencies for the purpose nomination of focal persons and creation of dedicated whatsap group of all the participants.
A WhatsAp group of all the participants has been created by Assistant Collector (HQ) for effective communication.
The representative of Intelligence Bureau informed the participants that technical expertise with call record data tracking the location of absconders/smugglers shall be sent to AC HQ on written request for the same. Customs will official intimate Intelligence Bureau for the needful.
The representative from Sindh Police proposed for establishment of joint check posts of Customs Police and Rangers which may be monitored through cameras by the headquarters of the respective agency. Customs will analyze the proposal for implementation.
The representative of Fisheries Department has informed the forum that legislation / rules regarding illegal jetties are in final stage at Ministry of Law and Justice. Further progress on the same will be intimated by the Department of Fisheries within due course of time.
The representative from Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) informed that a Focal Person from Pakistan Rangers will be nominated for anti-smuggling operations. Furthermore, he has requested for early intimation of anti-smuggling operations so that staff could be arranged well in time.
The representative of Plant Protection Department has apprised the forum that apple of New Zealand and Iran are available in the local market without any legal import.
The Collector of Customs Enforcement has informed the participants that there could a possibility of maneuvering of origin in the clearance Collectorate which could be counter verified. Further they will be apprised of the embargo on the import of these apples so that the standing measures could be adopted by the Clearance Collectorate.
All the participants nominated in the Divisional Level Task Force by the Ministry of Interior and agreed to meet periodically and expressed their resolve to coordinate with each other to curb the menace of smuggling, which has become an economic threat of Pakistan.