LAHORE: Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation-Customs, Regional Office, Lahore has performed exceptionally well in the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2022-23 (Oct 22 –Dec 22) by demonstrating vehement resilience against the menace of smuggling and evasion of duty & taxes.

Customs Intelligence Lahore has ensured meticulous implementation of tax laws, administrative processes and procedures within the broader contours of guidelines laid down by FBR and national policy.

Key driving force behind extra ordinary performance in all respective areas was persistent encouragement and guidance provided by Mr Faiz Ahmad Chadhar, Director General Customs Intelligence. Ms. Saima Shehzad, Director Intelligence Lahore funneled available resources (especially HR) efficiently, that resulted in exemplary success story for the Directorate. Additional Director, Ch Rizwan Bashir Kalair personally supervised all the operations.

Customs Intelligence Lahore range comprising Ch Rizwan Bashir Kalair (Additional Director), Ali Asad (Deputy Director), Shah Samad (Deputy Director), Rai Waqar (Superintendent), Sohail Murtaza (IO), Arif Meo (IO), Ahtisham Naveed (IO), Aslam Iqbal (IO) registered 127 seizures cases during the 2nd quarter involving PKR 2085 million in comparison to 76 cases involving PKR 1082 million during the 2nd quarter of the previous financial year (2021-22). This is phenomenal increase of 93%.

ASO wing of Customs Intelligence Lahore seized a mammoth quantity of smuggled goods involving but not limited to cigarettes (2506 Dandaas / Bars), tobacco items (11530 tins), betel nuts /Areca Nut (22170 KGs), tyres (1860 Nos), cloth (127462 KGs), skimmed milk (19975 KGs), tiles (1200 Cartons), crockery & glassware (35457 KGs), welding electrodes (2000 KGs), zinc ingots (2770 KGs), paraffin wax (259 cartons), petroleum jelly (10,150 KGs), shoes/joggers (27894 pairs) and huge quantities of other goods like copper ingots, monosodium glutamate, auto parts etc. It is noteworthy that “30” vehicles were seized by Lahore Intelligence during Oct 22 – Dec 22 in comparison to “21” vehicles seized in corresponding quarter of last year.

These vehicles included Toyota Land Cruisers (04 Nos.), Mercedes Benz cars (03 Nos.), BMW cars (02 Nos.), Toyota Prius (02 Nos.), Toyota Vitz (02 Nos.), Toyota Mark-X (04 Nos.), Toyota Hilux Surf (01 No.), Toyota Axio (01 No.), Honda Civic (03 Nos), Honda Accord (02 Nos.), Toyota Crown, Honda City, Toyota Corolla, Daihatsu Mira, Toyota Aqua and Toyota Premio cars.

I&P Branch of this Directorate lodged 12 FIRs during 2nd quarter of this fiscal year. Organized gangs involved in smuggling of vehicles has also been busted during this period and the criminal proceedings have been initiated against accused persons. I&P branch arrested notorious smuggler Nabi Bakhsh on September 30th 2022 who is one of the ring leaders behind operating the network of smuggling in the entire country. The aforesaid accused is still in judicial custody and investigations are underway. Further, assiduous attempts are underway to arrest the other culprits. A total of 19 accused persons were arrested during this period.

On Enforcement side, “12” cases of CIF value of PKR 7505 million involving Duty & Taxes of PKR 2813 million were registered. During this quarter of FY 2022-23 duty & taxes amounting 32.6 million have been realized marking an increase of 75% viz-a-viz 2nd quarter of FY 2021-22, by taking precise and prompt actions against attempts of evasion of duty & taxes. The vigilance has been further enhanced to ensure the meticulous compliance of SOPs on appraisement side by tenacious monitoring and due diligence.

The Auction branch registered an increase of 27% in disposals as goods /lots worth PKR 88 million were disposed of through public auction during 2nd quarter of FY 2022 compared to 69 million PKR realized in last year’s same quarter.

Furthermore, 31 million PKR has been realized through redemption of goods against payment of duty & taxes marking a significant increase of 55% in comparison to 20 million PKR realized in quarter ending of FY 2021-22. It is noteworthy that during current financial year Revenue realized in first six months is 253 million vs 137 million for the previous financial year, which is 48% higher.

Director General Customs Intelligence Islamabad, Ch. Faiz Ahmad Chadhar, lauded the efforts of the Lahore Range team and congratulated supervisory officers Ms Saima Shehzad, Director and Ch Rizwan Bashir Kalair, Additional Director Incharge of operations, on this remarkable achievement. The Director General especially lauded extraordinary achievement of Anti-smuggling branch of Lahore Intelligence highlighting that the achievement of almost 100% more seizures with lesser staff (30% lesser in comparison to the previous year) was truly remarkable and enviable feat.

The team of Customs Intelligence Lahore has resolved to continue working at the same pace (i.e.  24/7) against smuggling networks and tax evaders in order to significantly contribute their share in better enforcement and compliance. This is in line with Pakistan Customs’ prime function of DEFENDING ECONOMIC FRONTIERS of the country.