By: Imran Khan
Karachi: The series of corruption and irregularities in the auctions at the Model Customs Collectorate Port Qasim Appraisal has reached its peak.
Officials of the auction department became the patrons of a particular network of bidders, causing losses to the national exchequer. At the same time, the secret investments of the officers through the bidders began to get protection.
In MCC Port Qasim auctions, 25% of the earnest money is not being confiscated despite the passage of time.
In comparison, 25% of the consignments are being confiscated, again decided to be given to certain bidders at the lowest bid.
According to reports, the auction of PVC scrap import consignments at the Port Qasim Collectorate has been conducted illegally, causing a massive loss to the national exchequer. In this incident, 5500 tonnes of PVC scrap was allegedly auctioned unlawfully at a bargain price.
The quantity of PVC scrap was bid at the rate of Rs.50 per kg in 2013-14, but the auction did not occur.
The import consignments were re-auctioned in 2016 at Rs 30 per kg, with specific bidders active at Port Qasim, Muslim Khan, Asif, Fahad, and Abdul Basit, fetched 25% of the auction amount of more than four crores, submitted the pay order. Still, the auction was stopped before the auction process was completed.
In this regard, M/s Engro approached the court to stop the auction of PVC scrap because the auctioned PVC scrap is not valid. Returned the pay order after six months.
After the case dragged on for several years, M/s Engro dropped the case. Sources said that the re-auction process of PVC scrap should be held after the return of the payment order, but the department has illegally started delivering PVC scrap to the same bidders at the rate of Rs 30 per kg, and Muslim Khan has received 12 containers so far.
Sources say that the officers posted in the Port Qasim Collectorate’s auction office have closed their eyes, and the series of illegal auctions of consignments continues to be given to approved bidders.
Before going to court, consignments of PVC scrap were auctioned at 30 rupees per kg. Even after the case was over, the auction was also auctioned at the same rate. The depreciation price has increased in four years, but only by auctioning at the same rate. The revenue officers and bidders of the Customs Department have benefited, and the national exchequer has been harmed.
Bidders allegedly paid Rs 1 crore to the then Collector, Rs 12 lakh to Appraiser Rashid Khan, and Rs 3 lakh to Clerk Zahid as commission.
It should be noted that Clerk Zahid was removed from the auction site by Collector Mumtaz Khoso on corruption charges. Still, under Collector Shahid Jawad, Clerk Zahid was returned to the Auction Department, where Principal Appraiser Ali Hassan was also posted with him.
According to reports, Badr Abdul Basit was named in the income tax evasion case in the auction lot last month. Still, Additional Collector Port Qasim released Badr Fahad and Asif after calling for questioning.
While a few months ago, the inquiry was also suppressed on the blacklisting of Badr Asif and Fahad for forgery, in which the recommendations to file a case against them were also suppressed.