KARACHI: Customs Enforcement Karachi has submitted in the Interim Challan before the Customs Court against the suspects accused of trafficking a multi-million-rupee vehicle stolen from London and brought to Karachi through misusing diplomatic exemptions.

Customs Enforcement submitted efforts are still continuing to gather further evidences and record from other Govt and Non-Govt offices to corroborate the facts and to trace out other culprits involved in the commission of crime.

Additional Collector Honnak Baloch is supervising the investigations. Former Deputy Collector Inamullah Wazir had been instrumental in proceeding the investigations.

Customs intelligence had seized Bentley from a house in the upscale neighbourhood in Karachi. The suspects, Jameel Shafi, the owner, and Naveed Balwani, a car broker, in jail on judicial remand, applied for bail. The third suspect in the case, Naveed Yaamin, is fugitive in the case. The arrested accused in this case have been given into jail custody.

A team led by Investigation Officer Mudassir Ali recovered a luxury sedan, Bentley Mulsanne, from Karachi under ‘mysterious’ circumstances after a British law enforcement agency alerted the authorities. The vehicle, which seemingly breezed through all radars, was earlier reported stolen in London. It was found parked in the driveway of a residence in the posh DHA locality of Karachi.

Customs was informed of the vehicle’s presence in the city, following which an investigation was conducted locally to trace the stolen luxury sedan.

During the course of investigation, it transpired that a syndicate is involved in the import of vehicles at Zero Duty/Taxes by abusing diplomatic rights and exemptions. Both the accused in customs custody Jamil Shafi and Naveed Bilwani were well aware of the crime they had committed.

Accused Jamil Shafi made a deal of the impounded car at merely fraction of the actual value of Bentley Mulssane Car. Both accused persons are giving impressions that they have done this transaction/act of getting diplomatic vehicle registered on the basis of purported various documents and exemption certificate that it could be registered with Motor registering Authority.

It is pertinent to mention that such costly vehicle having Diplomatic privileges and knowledge whether it was not the responsibility of the purchaser to ascertain the genuineness of all the documents including exemption certificate issued by the MoFA before having sale agreement signed by him with Naveed Bilwani.

Indeed, he did not do so intentionally and intended to cover this crime purportedly with sale agreement which does not have sanctity in the eyes of Law. Such an agreement is just after thought to cover the crime which have been committed by all persons equally. During the course of investigation, it was learnt that Naveed bilwani was the front man of accused Navaid Yameen who finds buyers of these expensive cars.

As per the investigation and further inquiry with reference to Navaid Yameen so far carried out, it has surfaced that Navaid Yameen along with others has been involved in commission of various offences and crimes including abuse of diplomatic exemptions for clearance of number of consignments. During personal search mobile phone was retrieved from possession of accused Naveed Bilwani but it was locked. Despite various directions, he refused to unlock his iphone and did not cooperate in the investigation.

The modus operandi adopted by the syndicate is that since the diplomats enjoy the privilege of importing vehicles for personal use at zero Duty/Taxes, the vehicles are imported on-demand and after the clearance of the vehicles from Customs Authorities the vehicles, without payment of Duty/Taxes, are sold in the open market causing loss of millions to the national exchequer.

The perusal of the GD reveals that the Exporter was “M/s. Sea Horse Trading” based in France while the Importer was “Embassy of Bulgaria” and the Clearing agent was M/s. World Ocean Centre.

During the course of investigation, it transpired that the accused Navaid Yameen was involved in a case of smuggling of liquor imported under the garb of diplomatic consignment destined for UAE Embassy in Islamabad. Such attempt of smuggling was thwarted by the Anti-Smuggling Organization, MCC Hyderabad and an FIR to this effect was registered vide No. 01/2020-21 dated 26-09-2020. It is pertinent to mention here that, the clearing agent Muhammad Sohail M/s. World Ocean Centre cleared the said consignment from Port Qasim under GD No. KPPI-PP/21192 dated 22-09-2020. He was also nominated in Challan along with the accused Navaid Yameen for commission of offence. Furthermore, a letter was sent to the DIG (Crime Investigating Agency) with request to provide Criminal Record of the accused persons. The said quarters issued a report that he was booked in 02 cases by PS Risala in Crime No. 71/12 and 76/12 under Section 489F and 420/34 respectively in 2012. It also transpired that, the accused Navaid Yameen was also arrested by FIA CBC Karachi in Case FIR No. 02/2015 dated 09-01-2015 under Section 419/420/467/468/471/109/34 Read with Section ¾ of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010. Further criminal record pertaining to accused person Navaid Yameen and others is being gathered from different quarters.

During the course of investigation, it was revealed that accused Navaid Yameen has secured protective bails from Superior Courts by deceiving High Courts in order to skip the course of investigation.

Firstly, he obtained protective Bail from High Court of Sindh Circuit Branch Hyderabad on wherein Court directed Navaid yameen to surrender before the Trial Court within 07 days without touching merits of the case. He chose to ignore the orders of the High Court of Sindh, Hyderabad and did not appear in this Court within the time period.

Later on it came into knowledge that he had approached High Court of Lahore and sought protective transit bail and he approached before High Court of Sindh at Karachi and filed Constitutional Petition and obtained bail order while submitting irrelevant facts and circumstances about his innocence before Court of Sindh.