MULTAN: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has intensified its drive against smuggling activities in the country, under the professional leadership of Ms. Zeba Haye Azhar, Member Customs (Operation) and the able guidance of Mr. Mirza Mubashir Baig, Chief Collector of Custom (Enforcement-Punjab), Lahore.

The Collectorate of Customs, Enforcement, Multan, headed by Syed Imran S. Bukhari (Collector) and Mr. Shah Faisal (Additional Collector), has seized smuggled goods, illegal godowns and dumping places worth Rs.320.21 million in November, 2023. This is a 266% increase in terms of value, compared to the corresponding time period of the previous financial year.

Bukhari is a very competent and reputed officer. He was last posted as Collector Khuzdar with additional charge of Customs Hyderabad. He had controlled smuggling through Baluchistan to Punjab via Sukkur and closed all the smuggling routes despite severe pressure.  

Collector Enforcement Multan Syed Imran Sajjad Bukhari, has resolved to promote genuine and legal trade activities and to discourage illegal businesses using smuggled goods. For the purpose of facilitation of international passengers, the Collectorate has established a Vigilance Cell at the Multan International Airport, which is the fifth busiest airport of the country, as an extra layer of facilitation.

During the month of November, two major cases were detected at the airport; one of foreign currency and gold amounting to Rs.8.67 million and another of 114 i-phones worth Rs.12 million. Two persons have been arrested and are under investigations.

Simultaneously, in various enforcement operations across the territorial jurisdiction of Multan Collectorate, a large quantity of smuggled items in 72 cases have been seized, during the month of November, 2023. The goods include carrier vehicles, non-duty paid vehicles, currency, food items (dry fruits and skimmed milk), gold, mobile phones and miscellaneous items.

In November 2022, only 10 cases valuing Rs.87.5 million were registered, which shows a 620% increase in terms of number and a 266% increase in terms of value.

Three auctions were conducted in November, 2023, wherein Rs.73.175 million revenue was realized against 26 auction lots. Moreover, strict instructions to the anti-smuggling formations, including mobile squads of the Collectorate and airport, have been issued to keep vigilance on the illicit movement of essential goods, commodities, Iranian petroleum products and currency.

In this context, all transporter associations and owners of carrier vehicles are forewarned and cautioned to ensure that legal documents accompany all imported goods which are being transported by them, otherwise strict legal action shall ensue resulting in seizing and confiscation of vehicles.