KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has put Customs officials Tariq Mehmood and Yawar Abbas under Police custody remand till July 27, 2023.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted the second Remand Report before the High Court mentioning that the smugglers who smuggled the betel nuts and gave speed money to accused Customs officials are to traced on the pointation of accused Tariq Mehmood and Yawar Abbas and examined.

FIA submitted both officials are required to be interrogated thoroughly and on their pointation their accomplices / nominated accused persons are to be traced and arrested.

Furthermore, on the pointation of accused Tariq Mehmood, the FIA team had conducted search of ASO Office situated at Ghass Bandar Keamari Karachi, wherein a register/ledger has been recovered containing usage of speed money (which was collected from different betel nut and Irani Diesel smugglers) and daily expenditures of ASO office.

An official said FIA FIR emphasized check posts were letting smuggled goods through. There are several other law enforcement and security agencies and they have their check posts across the smuggling route from Baluchistan Karachi. The official said joint check posts are the solution to this problem. This would serve as a counter check and efficient coordination.

Sources said that this speed money/bribes is the lifeline of entire Customs operations. The system in Customs is that the payments to informers, fuel/maintenance of squad vehicles and expenses of check posts, transport/labor expenses, are paid through the speed money.

This system is running for a very long time. A proper budget for all these expenses should be allocated and released timely.