QUETTA: In pursuance of the directions of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to launch a crackdown against the smuggling of essential items from Pakistan to the neighboring countries, a credible information was received through Mr Faiz Ahmad, Director General, Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation — Customs, Islamabad that a huge quantity of Pak Origin Fertilizer Urea & Sugar are dumped at different premises /godowns in and around Khuzdar City, for onwards smuggling from Baluchistan to Afghanistan.

Dr. Tahir Qureshi, Director, Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation — Customs, Gaddani was assigned the lead role in conducting the operations in association with the officials of the Regional office Quetta who deputed Mr. Moeen Afzal Ali, Additional Director to execute the operation for seizure of the essential items from various dumping sites of District Khuzdar in wake of information provided by the Director General.

The Customs Intelligence team led by Mr Majid Hussain Gaad, Assistant Director, duly assisted by Frontier Corps, Kalat Scouts at Khuzdar, Distt administration and Police.

The joint team searched the Farm House of the local smuggler and recovered 26,407 Bags of Fertilizer Urea and 8,209 Bags of Sugar from the premises. It is pertinent to mention that the owner of the premises could not produce the documents about the legality of the goods stored as per the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Agriculture & Cooperatives Department, Government of Baluchistan against the hoarding, illegal transport and smuggling of essential items i.e urea and Sugar.

The premises was sealed and the seized goods were handed over under to the police, District Administration and FC, Kalat Scouts and at Khuzdar.

The joint team conducted the raid on another compound, namely Shafiullah Crushing Plant on RCD Highway, which resulted in recovery of 10,630 bags of Pak Origin Fertilizer and 3,770 Bags of Pak Origin Sugar

Further, the Joint Team reached the Arbab Complex, a local market, shops of which have been rented for the purposes of Illegal hoarding of the essential Items with intent to smuggle these goods out of Pakistan.

Here the joint team faced stiff resistance from the owners of the shops who did not allow access to the Joint Team to the market and threatened to block RCD Highway.

After lengthy deliberations and negotiations with the help of local elders, the authorities managed to disperse the crowd.

Search of each shop was conducted that resulted in recovery of 22,978 bags of Pak origin Sugar and 2,646 bags of Pak Origin Urea from 33 different shops.

The entire stock was seized under the relevant provisions of the laws.

Earlier in two other operations Customs Intelligence Baluchistan has also seized 2,200 bags of Urea fertilizer and 10, 000 bags of sugar at Gadani and Noshki during the past few days.

Thus during the ongoing operations against the smuggling of essential commodities, the Customs Intelligence has seized 41,883 bags of Urea fertilizer having market value of Rs. 167.532 million and 44,957 bags of sugar having market value of Rs. 224.785 million.

These operations during the last week have successfully foiled attempts to smuggle huge quantities of 86,840 bags of essential commodities worth Rs. 392.317 million to Afghanistan which is a severe blow to the smuggling mafia.

Chairman FBR and the Director General, l&I-Customs congratulated the Joint Team and supervisory officers of the different Federal and Provincial departments and organizations who have contributed in controlling the menace of smuggling of essential items from Pakistan.