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Smuggled handsets, tablets worth over Rs500m seized.

A raiding team of Collectorate of Customs, Appraisement, West, recently seized four containers from Al-Hamd International Container Terminal (AICT) and recovered 31,112 mobile phones and tablets during a raid in Karachi.

Collector Customs West Shehnaz Maqbool received a tip-off that huge quantity of mobile phones and others would be cleared from the port by misdeclaration made in the bill of landing B/L.

The Collector Customs Appraisement West constituted a raiding party headed by Deputy Collector, RandD, Imran Rasool which kept the suspicious containers under watch and lastly seized the same in the presence of officials of intelligence and other security agencies.

The containers belonged to Messers Arham and Co, Lahore, Rana Enterprises, the initial investigations revealed.

The raiding party opened all the four containers and found that the containers were stuffed with mobile phones and tablets of different branch while the B/Ls declared the containers to have garment accessories, refrigerator parts and disperse dyes.

A case has been registered and further investigations are underway. The detection of the case may lead to startling disclosures as customs officials have successfully tracked the owners, clearing agent and others who colluded to defraud the national exchequer of duty and taxes worth millions of rupees.

On the contrary to appreciated her loyalty and honesty, Customs Collector Shahnaz Maqbool, belonging to Balochistan, who had seized 31,112 smuggled mobile phones worth over Rs500 million, has been transferred.

She has transferred after two years. During her posting, she had arrested many smugglers and worked against strong mafia of mobile phone smuggling. The reason of transfer of Shahnaz Maqbool was arrest of the gang of smugglers and controlling the menace of smuggling. She arrested the gang involved in smuggling of mobile phones and its accessories, SIMs and broadcasting equipment. The same mafia offered Rs200 million for not registering case against them but she turned down the offer and lodged FIR against them.

The sources revealed that due to illegal import of mobile phones, the FBR was deprived of millions of rupees revenue in the head of taxes. Customs spokesman Dr Muhammad Iqbal said that Shahnaz Maqbool's transfer is part of departmental policy. He lauded the work of Shahnaz Maqbool for controlling the menace of smuggling in the country.

Meanwhile, Customs Court Judge Syed Faiz Rasool Rashdi has sent two suspects, Ahmed Mirza, Head (CSD) M/S AICT, Mehdi Sherwani, Manager (CSF-Shed) M/s AICT to Customs Department on physical remand for two days. Both the suspects were booked in a mega tax evasion case.

During the hearing, investigation officer of Collectorate of Customs Appraisement West produced the suspects before the court and submitted that the customs officials recovered mobile phones, tablets and batteries from a container.

The investigation officer informed the court that the accused imported mobile phones, tablets and batteries in the garb of pallets disperse dyes code of goods 3204.11 and four pallets refrigerator parts code of goods 8418.99 and others goods, involving duties and taxes of millions of rupees.

After his arguments, the court sent them on physical remand and directed him to produce them on the next date of hearing along with progress report. A case was registered against owner of M/s Arham and Co, Lahore, Ahmed Mirza Head (CSD) M/s AICT, Mehdi Sherwani, Manager (CSF-Shed) M/s AICT, Muhammad Hasan, Operation Manager, M/s Allied Xpert Logistics and others to be ascertained during the investigation for violation of 2 (s), 16, 32, 43 to 45, 138, 155D, 155E, 155H, 1551 and 178 of the Customs Act, 1969, read with SRO 566 (1)/ 2005 dated 06/06/2005 and section 3 (1) of the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, 1950 punishable under clauses 8, 9, 14, 100 and 101 of section 156 (1) of the Customs Act, 1969, read with section 3 (3) of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and section 148 of the Income Tax Ordinance 2000, further read with appendix-B of import policy order.

Customs Taxation and Anti-Smuggling Court Judge Syed Faiz Rasool Rashdi also awarded eight days imprisonment to suspect lady Uzma Mehwish on pleading guilty. She was booked in a case of attempting to smuggle gold and cellular phones worth millions of rupees.

During the hearing, the suspected lady appeared before the court along with her counsel and moved a petition for pleading guilty and left herself on the mercy of the court. After hearing the arguments, the court framed charge against her and awarded eight days imprisonment to her as undergone period.

On last date of hearing, investigation officer submitted charge-sheet against arrested lady suspect and others and informed that on a credible information regarding the smuggling of gold and cellular phones worth millions of rupees through a passenger coming from Dubai, a team was constituted and was instructed to enhance the surveillance as well as to carry out strict checking at both arrival and the departure lounges of the airport.
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Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 31, 2018
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