FIA team unearths illegal shipbreaking terminal involved in non-transparent sale of ships

December 03, 2023

The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Anti-Corruption Circle (ACC) has raided an illegal shipbreaking terminal and found it involved in causing a loss of Rs265 million.

Officials said on Saturday that the FIA’s Anti-Corruption Circle Karachi takes major action against illegal shipbreaking. FIA Karachi director Zaim Iqbal Sheikh ordered launching an operation, under the supervision of Additional director FIA Anti-Corruption Circle Javed Baloch, against the mafia involved in corruption.

The FIA's building in Islamabad. — Facebook/Federal Investigation Agency - FIA/File

An FIA team raided a private port terminal, where the private port management disclosed non-transparent sale of six ships (barges) owned by it. The foreign private port management sold the barges to locals for Rs265 million. The complete payments made through encashing, ignoring transparency in buying and selling.

It was further revealed that the private port administration also revealed the scrapping and braking of the ships (barges) without customs taxes and NOC of the concerned agencies.

During the raid, the cutting and breaking process was going on in violation of the rules and regulations of four ships (barges) while two ships have already been sold in the Sher Shah Kabari Market after full scraping. An inquiry 86/2023 was registered in the FIA Anti-Corruption Circle Karachi.

The inquiry will determine the role of the private port terminal management and other related port entities. The scrapping and breaking process of barges was suspended till the inquiry was completed. Further investigations are underway.

In a separate case, the FIA’s State Banking Circle Karachi led a crackdown against elements involved in hawala and hundi and illegal currency exchange.

Officials said that the deputy director SBP Circle Karachi, Ayaz Mehar, supervised the raid.

The key leader of gang involved in illegal currency exchange was arrested from Garden East with millions of rupees worth of domestic and foreign currency.

The arrested accused Noor Mohammad was involved in illegal exchange of currency through hawala and hundi.

He was also allegedly involved in foreign exchange without a licence. During the raid, 2,600 US dollars, 650 UAE dirhams and Rs3.1 million were recovered from the accused.

Moreover, other recoveries include two mobile phones, hundi/hawala related messages, several hundi/ hawala registers were also recovered from the accused. The accused could not satisfy the authorities regarding the recovered currency. An investigation is underway and raids are being conducted to arrest the other suspects.