Police impound over 60 NCP vehicles.
Byline: Tariq Naqash
MUZAFFARABAD -- Local police have impounded more than 60 non-custom paid (NCP) vehicles from the territorial limits of Muzaffarabad district over the past few weeks in an aggressive drive against such means of transport.
However, police sources fear that alleged loopholes in the system could invalidate their 'achievement' and that the confiscated vehicles may be reclaimed by previous owners/users through executive or judicial magistrates.
According to Raja Akmal, senior superintendent of Muzaffarabad police (SSP), the drive against such vehicles was launched after consistent complaints that NCP and tampered vehicles were being used with impunity, amid fears of their misuse in any unlawful activity.
'Loopholes in system could invalidate drive against non-custom paid vehicles'
'In the wake of incidents of terrorism in different parts of the country, vehicles whose owners or users are not documented anywhere pose a serious threat to the security arrangements, which warrants strict action against them,' he told Dawn.
The SSP maintained that while police could take the issue of stolen or tampered vehicles to the logical end, they were still helpless in case of NCP vehicles for want of a specific law governing this issue.
While the customs department does not have its jurisdiction in the disputed territory of AJK, the government here has not adopted the Customs Act either to contain the use of NCP vehicles. The National Action Plan against terrorism, which has also been enforced in AJK, does not cater to this issue, according to sources.
Mr Akmal said the confiscated vehicles included two Land Cruisers, 18 cars, four double cabin pickups, six Pajeros, two Surfs, seven Prados and 22 Mazda pickups.
Preliminary investigations suggested that some of them were stolen from different parts of Pakistan while some were tampered with.
According to him, all the vehicles had been impounded under section 550 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) under suspicion of doubtful ownership.
He told that since the NCP vehicles could not be registered in AJK unless they paid customs duty, the owners or users of such vehicles would reclaim them from executive or judicial magistrates under sections 523 and 524 of the CrPC on superdari (interim custody).
The SSP suggested that enforcement of Customs Act and replication of amnesty for NCP vehicles in AJK could help address this issue for good.
Meanwhile, the SSP said that the police had also busted a five-member inter-provincial gang of motorcycle thieves from Chattar Klass and recovered some 18 stolen bikes from them.
Apart from that, more than 20 bikes with tampered registration had also been impounded from elsewhere in the district, he added.