KARACHI: Collector Customs Adjudication Lahore Saira Agha held the importer M/s Zaniq Green and ordered confiscation of the goods. However, certain goods can be redeemed on payment of 20% redemption fine. Besides Rs200,000 each is imposed as personal import on importer M/s Zaniq Green and clearing agent M/s FK Enterprises. There are two such adjudication orders, therefore the total penalty comes to Rs400,000 each.

M/s Zaniq Green attempted to clear high value goods in the garb of low value tyre scrap. 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.

An official the fine of Rs200,000 is a very low fine just to complete a formality. But such a fine on the crime involving over a billion rupees is a joke.

Customs Appraisement West Lahore has filed an FIR against the importer M/s Zaniq Green.

The accused Asif Kamdar also filed a CP in High Court against I&I Lahore and Customs Lahore. However, Customs Appraisement Lahore didn’t nominate him in FIR.   

The case came to light when M/s Zaniq Green imported several consignments from Jebel Ali, which were declared as tyre scrap and were to be transported to the dry port in Lahore. 

The importer is based in Karachi, and goods were destined to Karachi, but later IGM was amended because Collectors including Irfan Wahid and Tahir Qureshi were keeping strict check on wrongdoings. It is worth mentioning that this was the first TP in the import history of M/s Zaniq Green.

Member Customs Dr. Fareeq Iqbal Qureshi advised Chief Collector Muhammad Saleem that IGM of the M/s Zaniq Green consignment be amended and the consignment be moved to dry port Lahore as TP. Assistant Collector Saba amended the IGM.

Intelligence & Investigation (I&I) department in Lahore reported the matter to the Chief Collector of Punjab, highlighting concerns over the import and clearance of high-value goods under the guise of scrap. Despite the report, no immediate action was taken.

Under mounting pressure from I&I, a thorough examination of Zaniq Green’s consignment was ordered, which resulted in the discovery of high-value items such as laptops, electronics, and auto parts etc., instead of the declared scrap.

An official familiar with the matter stated that M/s Zaniq Green is a repeat offender known for clearing goods in Karachi. However, due to increased scrutiny in Karachi, the operations were shifted to Lahore’s dry port, allegedly with the support of a Punjab government politician. It is believed that arrangements were made with Customs Appraisement Lahore to facilitate the clearance of these high-value goods. One focal person of this cartel identified as Shafique came from Dubai to Lahore and had made arrangements with Customs Lahore. Shafique went back to Dubai after lodging of FIR.

The scam was exposed through the diligent efforts of I&I, leading to the lodging of two FIRs against M/s Zaniq Green for a sum exceeding Rs 1.4 billion.

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.

There is a word among relevant circles that the entire collectorate of Customs Appraisement West including officers and appraisers are facilitating and patronizing revenue evasion. This instant case has exposed the involvement of Appraisement West Lahore, which is just tip of the iceberg. A comparison between Customs Appraisement Karachi and Lahore will reveal that revenue collection of Lahore is just half of that collected by Appraisement Karachi on similar goods.

Investigations by Customs Lahore is quite sloppy, the license of clearing agent M/s FK Enterprises was not suspended and no clear proceedings were initiated. Moreover, the shipping line, prime suspect, is also not nominated in the FIR. No investigations were initiated about KICT and SAPT. The main person nominated by KICT and SAPT is also a habitual offender and has been nominated in several FIRs. This person also has administrative control of KICT and SAPT. There are a lot of irregularities at KICT and SAPT where goods are frequently replaced from containers such as alcohol. It may be mentioned here that Customs Lahore has issued notice to KICT as a formality, but there are no active investigations.