KARACHI: Customs Intelligence and Investigation Karachi (I&I) has lodged an FIR against M/s. J & A International, Shipping line M/s Ocean World Lines International LLC, and Delivery Agent, M/s. Transbridge Logistics Pakistan for illegal import / smuggling of liquor in the garb of diplomatic cargo through mis-declaration in violation of Diplomatic Exemption under Diplomatic and Consular Privileges Act, 1972 and import Policy Order, 2022.

Information was passed through Director I&I Karachi Saquid Saeed to Additional Director Afzal Watto regarding smuggling of liquor in the garb of diplomatic goods.

On the instructions of Deputy Director Abeer Javed, I&I Karachi blocked a consignment imported by the Embassy of the State of Palestine after being assigned to gate out.

In terms of Vienna convention on Diplomatic Relations (VDCR), 1961, read with Diplomatic and Consular Privileges Act, 1972, the MOFA was requested to approach the Embassy for joint examination. No one from the Embassy of the State of Palestine appeared for examination and disowned the consignment.

A team of I&I Karachi comprising Principal Appraiser Farooq Ahmed, Appraising Officer Faiz and Appraising Officer Inam-ul-Haq conducted the examination, which led to recovery of 10,548 bottles of assorted liquor bottles and 2,160 cans of assorted beer.

It is suspected that some unscrupulous elements in connivance with the clearing agent, concerned shipping lines  and Delivery Agent, are involved in the import of smuggled contraband goods under the garb of diplomatic consignment through mis-declaration of description. Investigations are underway.

It may be mentioned here that under the directives of Director General I&I Faiz Ahmed, I&I Karachi is also focusing towards the appraisement side to check mis-declaration, while the anti-smuggling drive is also gaining pace.