QUETTA: The Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Quetta, in collaboration with Frontier Corps (FC) North, has seized 33 Japanese vehicles and 20 buses loaded with smuggled goods worth millions of rupees in two separate operations.

The operations were carried out on 23 December 2023, following the credible information from Mr Faiz Ahmad Chadhar, Director General, I&I, Islamabad.

The first operation was conducted at Nokundi, where 33 Japanese origin vehicles of various makes and models, valued at 84.6 million rupees, were intercepted. These vehicles were loaded with smuggled goods including cigarettes, betel nut, Gutkha, cloth, Chinese salt, confectionary, steel wire roop, solar systems and other items.

The second operation was carried out in the area of Dasht, District Mastung, where 20 buses, known as Mahdo, were seized. These buses had no passenger seats and had special cavities for transportation of smuggled goods.

Further proceedings in both cases have been initiated in accordance with law.

The operations were part of the anti-smuggling campaign launched on the instructions of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, who has vowed to curb the menace of smuggling and protect the national economy.

The campaign has been intensified in recent weeks, as the smugglers have resorted to bypassing the check posts and moving their goods through the katcha area land of local lords, who receive payment from smugglers and provide protection to such traffic.

To counter this challenge, Chief Collector Baluchistan Abdul Qadir Memon has created control rooms at more than six check posts. These control rooms are the joint venture of FC, Levies, Police, Customs, District Administration and other agencies. Cameras have also been installed at check posts for monitoring and surveillance.

The I&I Quetta has appreciated the cooperation and support of FC North in conducting the successful operations and has vowed to continue the crackdown against smuggling with full vigour and determination.