KARACHI: Sindh High Court has set aside the order of Customs Appellate Tribunal in the case of fraudulent import of electric buses, and advised Customs Collectorate to assess the imported buses in terms of Section 25 of the Customs Act.

M/s CAUSIS Mass Transit (Pak) Private Limited imported low floor electric buses fully built drive away condition with rechargeable lithium-ion battery from M/s Causis General Trading LLC, Dubai and sought clearance through authorized customs clearing agent M/S Haris Enterprises under PCT heading 8702.4090 by claiming exemptions of Customs duty and Sales Tax at a declared value of $45000/unit C&F Karachi.

On the directives of Collector Appraisement East Aamir Thaim, Additional Collectors Umar Shafique, Mushtaq Shahani and Superintendent Malak Hashim conducted a scrutiny had detected the gross under-valuation on the import of buses.

Collector Adjudication Feroz Junejo had imposed fine and penalty of another Rs442 million on M/s CAUSIS Mass Transit (Pak) Private Limited for fraudulent mis-declaration of value of imported electric buses to evade legitimate government revenue.

With this order-in-original total fine/penalty imposed on the importer has reached to Rs884 million. The importer willfully attempted to manipulate Customs import data to get imported buses cleared at suppressed values going forward, which would result in a continuous loss of revenue to the government.

Meanwhile, Sindh government has inaugurated the electric bus service project in Karachi, despite the fact almost all the imported buses are still under confiscation by Customs. The project is launched with only six buses.

Sources said the M/s CAUSIS Mass Transit was a European country with a plan to run 10,000 electric buses in the country, a project to the tune of $3.0 billion. However, the plan hit a set back as their local partners committed a fraud.