By: Imran Khan
Karachi: Reluctance from MCC Appraisement East and MCC Appraisement West to put the actual culprits, allegedly involved in the biggest smuggling and tax evasion scam of the history, laying the path for continues loss to the national exchequer in the most destabilised financial situation of the country.
According to the reliable sourcess, instead of taking action against Aslam Aini, the brother of Aslam Ani active in Dubai, Kashif Hussain, Imran, Rehan, Moeez Bavani, Javed Ghata, Shehzad pawa, and Aamir, some of the frontmen initiated negotiations for settling matters not to include their names in interim Challan.
The responsibility of this entire matter has been narrowed down to the company used in smuggling and tax evasion and its clearing agent; in this scandal, till now 2 cases have been filed by Model Customs AppAppraisement West and Model Customs AppAppraisement East, in which the clearing agent Waheed Anwar, the owner of Shafaay International Company, has been arrested and remanded for five days for investigation.
It should be noted that ten days ago, a big press conference was held by the officials of Customs Appraisement West, stating that after the government banned the import of luxury goods. An attempt to illegally transport contraband luxury goods worth around Rs. 50 million was foiled.
A NOC obtained from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency was also submitted along with the Gds “Goods Declaration” for clearing the said containers.
As per the declaration the M/S RIZ Green Industries was importing consconsignment of Tyre and Iron sheds scrap and submitted the GD by M/S Shaffaay International for clearance.
When the customs officials verified the said NOC, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency expressed indifference to such a certificate, after which customs officials blocked the said shipment and started an investigation.
The investigation revealed that only one container contained pieces of old tires and old iron sheds. In contrast, the other nine containers had artificial Indian jewelry, mobile phones, accessories, watches, electronic items, cosmetics, tin packs of food, and beverages worth crores. Apart from other luxury goods, commodities, foreign confectionary, and juices were kept on which taxes worth millions of rupees were being evaded.
In this case, it was revealed that the importing company was bogus, while the clearing agent Waheed Anwar taken bail to avoid arrest.
An investigation was started against the M/S Riz Green Industries company and its clearing agent M/S Shaffaay International after registering a case on the matter.
The obtained import record revealed that same importer was trying to clear goods in bulk from Model Customs Appraisement East and filed 42 GDs.
When Customs officials Scrutinised the Goods Declaration it was revealed that goods worth 2500 millions were being misdeclared as 1500 millions.
A case was also registered against the Riz Green company and its clearing agent in Model Customs Appraisement East for huge tax evasion.
In this latest case, the customs authorities have also limited the investigation to the clearing agent Waheed Anwar, who was on bail in first case but MCC Appraisement East successfully has his five days physical remand for further investigation.
MCC West Collector Tahir Qureshi constituted the team under the supervision of Deputy Collector Faizan Bud, PA Ghulam Yasin, AO Taha Shaikh, Muhammad Riaz, Abid Sarfraz, Mujahid Iqbal, Rashid Ali, Muhammad Naeem, Khizr Khurshid to investigate this historic scandal.
Meanwhile, another team has been formed by the Collector MCC AppraisementEast under the Additional Collector Ahsan Khan, Deputy Collector Fariha Afzal, PA Zafar Shabbir, AO Ghani Soomro, Abdul Saboor, Malik Naeem.
According to the reliable sources of customs, the modus operandi of the elements involved in smuggling and tax evasion is crystal clear to the Customs officials.
Smugglers has been purchasing Weboc IDs of registered companies by paying lucrative money through agents to utilise the particulars for importing goods.
Similar cases were made in 2020 when Anti Smuggling Organization (ASO) of MCC Preventive Karachi had detected huge smuggling and tax evasion in a raid near City Railway Station Karachi.
In the course of investigation ASO after nominating Importer company expanded its radar to trac the real masterminds behind the scene and arrested Aslam Aini but he managed to get bail later on.
According to the reliable sources, the network of tax evaders including Traders, Clearing Agents, Importers initially use the particulars of purchased companies in legal manner to build its solid reputation and then after availing Green Channel States, they try for smuggling and tax evasion in huge quantity in just one go.
The network has grown deep roots within the local markets and formations of Customs including Collectorates and Directorate Generals, as it has annual circulation of rupees
Well placed Sources in MCC Appraisement East informed that misdeclaration in such huge quantity is not possible with prior settlement within Appraisement and PRAL, therefore investigation should be extended to the relevant staff of Customs and PRAL to reach actual facts.