PESHAWAR: In a report to Federal Board of Revenue FBR), Customs Peshawar has concluded that the sugar bags shown on social media were not being smuggled, instead these were legally exported to Afghanistan as per the quota allotted to certain sugar mills.
A video shared on Twitter showed an attempt to smuggle sugar under the guise of cement in a vehicle destined for export to Afghanistan. The incident was investigated, which revealed that two cement vehicles from Cherat Cement and three sugar vehicles from Kiran Sugar Mills, Rohri and Naudero Sugar Mills, had come under debris of rocks during sliding side by side.
The scanned images of the cement vehicles were normal, indicating that only cement was loaded in these two vehicles. However, GDs of these two vehicles were not filed by the exporters until the incident, and therefore, these consignments were not examined by the staff of Pakistan Customs at CS Torkham. As for the three sugar vehicles, their scanned images were normal, and GDs were not filed as they were under process and not cleared by the staff of CS Torkham.
It is important to note that the export of sugar is allowed to Kiran Sugar Mills, Rohri and Naudero Sugar Mills by the office of Cane Commissioner Hyderabad, Sindh. It is likely that sugar bags from legally exported consignments got mixed up with bags of cement during the incident, as visible from the enclosed images of the consignments.
The investigation sheds light on the challenges faced by customs officials in detecting and preventing smuggling attempts. Smuggling not only causes financial losses to the country but also poses a threat to national security. Authorities need to remain vigilant and take necessary measures to curb such activities.