QUETTA: The Customs Department of Balochistan has inaugurated a new anti-smuggling control room in Quetta to monitor and coordinate the actions against smuggling in the province. The control room will be equipped with modern CCTV cameras and will have representatives from customs, intelligence agencies, and government departments.

The Chief Collector Customs Balochistan, Abdul Qadir Memon, said that the control room was established to prevent the smuggling of goods across the international borders with Iran and Afghanistan, and to strengthen the economy of the country. He said that the customs, federal and provincial governments, and other agencies were united on one page to control the crisis arising in the country due to smuggling.

He said that the control room will monitor the movement of goods through check posts, enforcement units, and field officers in Balochistan. He said that the actions taken by the control room will be based on the information obtained through CCTV cameras, which will be installed at all strategic locations. He said that in the first phase, 12 CCTV cameras have been installed, and the number will be increased to 100 within a month.

He said that the control room will also aim to curb the smuggling of food items such as sugar, wheat, flour, and urea out of the country. He said that due to strict measures taken by the customs, the price of sugar has come down from 250 rupees to 130 or 140 rupees per kg in a few days. He said that counters have been established to monitor and record the incoming sugar from other provinces.

He said that joint check posts have been established in cooperation with FC, police, levies, and other institutions to close all smuggling routes in Balochistan. He said that strict monitoring will be done through CCTV cameras on paved and unpaved roads. He said that the control room will work round the clock with the participation of all stakeholders.

He said that the establishment and customs have come together on one page to adopt an effective strategy to curb smuggling, which will benefit the people of Balochistan and the country. He said that he hoped that the control room will prove to be a milestone in the fight against smuggling. He formally inaugurated the control room in the presence of Collector Enforcement Irfan Ur Rehman, Additional Collector Umar Shafiq, Additional Collector Imran Afzal, Deputy Collector Abdul Moeed Kanju, Assistant Collector Haseeb Ahmed, Staff Officer Superintendent Abdul Ahad Durrani, Superintendent Dr. Atta Barich and others.

An official said in line with the vision of COAS Asim Munir the anti-smuggling campaign had gained momentum forcing the smugglers and hawala/hundi operators to go underground or flee from the country.  All the security agencies and law enforcement agencies are cooperating with Customs and big fish are now being targeted.