KARACHI: Two more FIRs have surfaced against M/s Zaniq Green wherein the importer attempted to clear high value goods in the garb of tyre scrap. Clearance of high value goods in the garb of low value goods such as scrap has been going on since long under the auspices of Customs Appraisement West.

As per modus operandi, high value goods were imported and mis-declared as tyre scrap, they these consignments were Trans shipped to Lahore dry port, where the importers had established an arrangement. Then these high value goods including electronics, laptops, mobile phones and vapes etc. are cleared as scrap thus causing huge revenue loss to the national exchequer. Cartel is working since decades, they have they associates in Dubai, they have arrangements with shipping lines and Customs. There are certain people whom have been doing this dirty business and people know them, although they are not on the front as far as documents are concerned.

In the recent instance, Customs Appraisement West Lahore was forced to lodge FIRs against M/s Zaniq Green, which is just one of many fronts of this cartel. Director I&I Lahore Haris Ansari had the tip regarding this practice. Additional Director Rizwan Bashir, therefore they put a hold on certain consignments of M/s Zaniq Green. If appraisement West  Lahore had cleared these goods as was their practice, I&I Lahore would nab the consignments after gateout. This way Customs Appraisement West would have been exposed because high value goods would be recovered from the consignment , which had been cleared as scrap. On the other hand, these goods worth over Rs1.3 billion would be seized by I&I Lahore.

In January 2024 these consignments arrived in Karachi and were lying unclaimed, then Assistant Collector (MIS) in Karachi Ms. Saba did the amendment in IGM on the request of the shipping lines as per rules and Public Notice No.10.

Although, Customs Appraisement Lahore lodged the FIRs against M/s Zaniq Green, but they have attempted to damage the case and make bonded carrier Al-Tajir the scapegoat. It may be mentioned here that bonded carrier Al Tajir safely delivered the goods from Karachi to dry port Lahore with seals intact. Interestingly, the FIRs lodged by Appraisement Lahore wrongly mentioned that the TP was filed by the bonded carrier.     

Organized smuggling mafia is being fully supported and protected by Customs Lahore. Customnews.pk investigation found out that Inspector Appraisement West Umar Mehboob is the designated collector (Front Man) of speed money and bribes from smugglers and fraudulent activities for senior officers. Umar Mehboob is one the complainants in the FIRs along with Muhammad Naeem.

The investigation officer Adnan Haider came to Karachi for investigation, but he didn’t investigate the shipping lines, M/s Yaseen Shipping Line and M/s Clear Freight International and didn’t nominate the shipping lines in the FIR. It may be mentioned here that the amendment in the IGM was requested by the shipping lines that the goods were destined for dryport Lahore.

Similarly, the clearing agent M/s FK Enterprises which took the delivery of the consignment in Karachi and IO Adnan Haider didn’t investigate the clearing agent either. He didn’t investigate the KICT staff either because according to sources, KICT staff unsealed one container of the consignment without the knowledge of Customs. It was known that representative of the importer had visited KICT and checked one container, then the seal was refixed.

Collector Appraisement West Lahore Zohra Haider is allegedly the facilitator of this scheme, and allegedly Inspector Umar Mehboob had invited this cartel to Lahore on the assurance of Zohra Haider. Since January 2022, Collectors Appraisement Karachi including Tahir Qureshi, Irfan Wahid, Additional Collectors Javed Sarwar Shaikh, Zubair Shah, Deputy Collectors Raza Naqvi and Faizan Badar and Appraising Officer Muhammad Riaz detected a case of similar nature involving same importers, agents and shipping lines, where high value goods were being cleared in the garb of scrap. The team mentioned above investigated the case thoroughly, and even reached Dubai from where the consignment had been shipped. The shipper in Dubai, an associate of the cartel, was investigated and FIR was lodged against him in Dubai. Such comprehensive investigation and vigilance in Karachi made it impossible for such mis-declaration.

Collector Adjudication Lahore Saira Agha also stepped in to protect the cartel and refused to receive the answer to the show cause notice by bonded carrier Al-Tajir, then the bonded carrier had to courier the answer to Collector Adjudication.   Moreover, Collector Adjudication served a notice of hearing to Al Tajir which was to be held on May 20, 2024, but interestingly the notice was received by bonded carrier on May 21, 2024.

The plan is that the adjudication process is completed in haste with the objective to make bonded carrier Al-Tajir the scapegoat to protect the actual importers and also secure the goods. Adjudication will order and the goods will be put to auction and importer’s associate will claim the goods through auction. It is mentioned here that the goods will be replaced before auction with scrap. The goods will reach to the importers.   

Sources said the consignment does not belong to one person. Any one ranging from traders to politicians to officers can be the owners, buy they definitely are powerful and influential enough having senior Customs officers in their pocket.