KARACHI: In a major crackdown on fuel smuggling, the Customs Enforcement Karachi has seized large quantity of smuggled fuel products and arrested 20 persons involved in the illegal trade. The value of the seized smuggled goods and transporting vehicles is estimated at Rs54 million.

Information was passed through Collector Enforcement Basit Abbasi to Additional Collector Amanullah Tareen that some oil tankers loaded with smuggled fuel were using an unauthorized route (Kacha Rasta) for transportation.

A Customs team was constituted under the supervision of the Assistant Collector, Anti-Smuggling Organization Aman Sadiq to intercept the said vehicles. The checking of vehicles led to recovery of large quantity of smuggled fuel. The drivers of the vehicles could not provide any evidence to prove the legal possession of the goods.

The Customs authorities lodged five FIRs against several accused and initiated investigations. This is the first time that the arrests were made in the cases of fuel smuggling. The Customs Enforcement Karachi vowed to continue its efforts to curb smuggling and protect the national economy.

Basit Abbasi is a very competent and reputed officer having vast enforcement experience. Abbasi has been quite efficient in Lahore recently. His appointment as Collector Enforcement Karachi comes after three previous Collectors of Enforcement Karachi were found to be involved in facilitating smuggling and taking bribes from smugglers.