KARACHI: Customs Enforcement Karachi and I&I Karachi have jointly launched a crackdown on the misuse of unaccompanied baggage consignments, while 100% examination of baggage consignments is being ensured at MCC Appraisement East, MCC Appraisement West and MCC Port Qasim.

Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I Karachi) has unearthed over Rs1.5 billion/month worth of revenue evasion through import and clearance of undeclared, mis-declared and banned items in the garb of personal baggage consignments.

The fraudulent evasion of government revenue on each container is worked out to be Rs2.5 million on average.

An official said around 600 containers of personal baggage consignments are cleared each month.

Source said gross mis-declaration and banned items are being imported in the garb of unaccompanied baggage consignments. An official said there were several agents running a ‘Door-to-Door’ service, wherein they collect various goods, commercial quantities and banned items from overseas Pakistanis in various countries. These goods are then delivered at the addresses in Pakistan provided by the overseas Pakistanis.

These Door-to-Door service providers mis-declare the quantity, description, and weight of the goods imported. Besides, several banned products are also cleared in the garb of unaccompanied personal baggage.

Additional Collector Enforcement Karachi Tahir Abbas is supervising the investigations into this scam costing national exchequer around Rs1.5 billion every month. Chief Collector Enforcement South Yaqoob Mako is taking personal interest and monitoring the investigations on daily basis.

To recall, Deputy Collector Enforcement Talha Salman, in June this year, had lodged an FIR against certain accused involved in smuggling in personal baggage consignments cleared from MCC Appraisement East, while Deputy Collector Faizan Arif had lodged a similar FIR in February this year pertaining to consignments cleared from MCC Appraisement West.

Similarly, Director General Customs Intelligence & Investigation–FBR Faiz Ahmed is also monitoring I&I Karachi investigations into the smuggling under the garb of unaccompanied personal baggage at MCC Port Qasim, MCC Appraisement East and MCC Appraisement West.