Accused in vehicle smuggling case acquitted

KARACHI: Abid Azhar Usmani booked by Pakistan Customs under section 156(1) (89) of the Customs Act 1969 by Anti Smuggling Organization (ASO) in case no 321/2018 was acquitted of charge of smuggling a vehicle.

According to details, on 23-10-2018, ASO  seized a Mercedes Benz car parked near Islamia College, M.A. Jinnah Road. The vehicle bears registration number BFF-014 being smuggled, non custom, duty paid vehicle. It was found to be registered in the name of one Zahoor Ali s/o M.Ayoob.

The case was sent up for trial before Special Customs Court Karachi. During arguments, counsel from Franklin Law Associates submitted that the accused is only in possession of the said vehicle which was originally purchased in an auction. The vehicle is of 2007 model and was duly registered with the Motor Vehicle Registration Authority.

The court after hearing the arguments relied upon a judge by High Court of Sindh in a Special Customs Reference Application 110/2014 wherein the superior court has ordered that customs can summon/call for import documents in cases where in vehicle is not more than 5 years old in terms of section 211 of the Customs Act 1969.

The special court also noted that none of the officials of the Motor Vehicle Registration Authority was made accused if the imported vehicle is without import documents.

The court noted that keeping this case pending will be abuse of law and with this observation acquitted the accused who was present on bail.

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