KARACHI: The Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Karachi has launched a crackdown on the smuggling of goods in passenger buses and seized two vehicles along with their illegal cargo. The drivers of the buses have been booked under the relevant laws.

According to details, the operation was carried out on the directives of Director Engineer Habib and Additional Director Afzaal Wattoo, who instructed Deputy Director Wasif Malik, Assistant Director Saud-ul-Hasan and Principal Appraiser Irshad Shah to increase vigilance and intelligence network to counter the movement of smuggled goods.

The I&I team intercepted a passenger bus near Karachi and found a large quantity of betel nut worth Rs0.5 million hidden in the luggage compartment. The betel nut and the bus, which was valued at Rs12 million, were confiscated by the authorities.

In another operation, the I&I team stopped another passenger bus and recovered miscellaneous smuggled goods worth Rs3.26 million from it. The goods included electronic items, mobile phones, cosmetics, clothes and cigarettes. The goods and the bus, which was valued at Rs20 million, were also seized by the I&I.

The I&I Karachi has lodged FIRs against the drivers of the buses for their involvement in smuggling activities and initiated further investigation into the matter.

Director General Faiz Ahmed has appreciated the performance of the I&I Karachi and instructed them to expedite the disposal of the seized goods and vehicles after completing the adjudication process. He said that the I&I was committed to curb smuggling and protect the national economy.