QUETTA: Baluchistan Customs started a crackdown against sugar and other edible commodities smuggling and recovered a lot of parcels of sugar after foiling the bid of smuggling in the province.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Collector Baluchistan Muhammad Saleem said there was shortage of edible commodities in the country, and this artificial shortage is deliberately being created. A mammoth quantity of sugar, wheat flour etc is being smuggled outside the country.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif took note of the situation and has advised Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Asim Ahmed to strictly control edible-commodities smuggling.

On the further directives of Member Customs Mukarram Jah Ansari and chief collector Baluchistan Muhammad Saleem, Collector Quetta Saleem-ul-Haq further tightened the vigilance and implemented a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to smuggling.

Patrolling and monitoring is also enhanced with the coordination and cooperation of law enforcement and security agencies at the borders.

Subsequently, Customs Baluchistan with the assistance of FC and Levies conducted a mega operation and recovered 45 trucks load of sugar and urea fertilizer worth Rs123 million, which was to be smuggled abroad.

Besides, in the first two weeks of April, Customs Enforcement made 59 cases of sugar smuggling worth Rs130 million and 3 cases of fertilizer smuggling worth Rs30 million.

Muhammad Saleem said FIRs will be lodged against owners and drivers of vehicles carrying smuggled goods. He said security and enforcement personnel were deployed and borders were closed.