KARACHI: Two customs officers who are facing charges of patronizing and facilitating smuggling and receiving bribes from the smugglers have filed bail applications in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The officers, Tariq Mehmood and Yawar Abbas, have been denied bail by all the lower courts and have now approached the apex court for relief.
The bail applications were heard by a bench comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan.
The bench admitted the petitions for regular hearing and ordered that the matter be fixed after one week. The counsel for the accused officers, Shaukat Hayat assisted by Advocate Allah Wasaya Zubair, B12 Advocates & Solicitors and Zain Jatoi, argued that their clients were innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case.
According to the prosecution, the accused officers were involved in a racket of smuggling and bribery, in which they used to receive money from the smugglers and convert it into gold bars. The gold bars were then distributed among senior customs enforcement officers, including former collectors Saquif Saeed, Aamir Thaeem and others. The prosecution claimed that the accused officers had caused a huge loss to the national exchequer and had violated their oath of office. The prosecution also submitted evidence, including bank statements, call records, and CCTV footage, to support their allegations.
The accused officers have denied the charges and have claimed that they were being victimized for performing their duties honestly. They have also challenged the jurisdiction and validity of the investigation and the trial. They have requested the Supreme Court to grant them bail and to quash the proceedings against them.