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Thursday June 08, 2023

Import company busted for tax evasion worth millions

April 15, 2023

LAHORE: The Directorate of Investigation and Intelligence (I&I) Custom busted a company for its involvement in tax evasion in connivance of the Mughalpura Dry Port Lahore officials.

According to the Custom officials, an importer was involved in tax evasion of million of rupees. On a tip off, Customs I&I officials stopped a goods consignment for checking which was already cleared by Mughalpura Dry Port. During checking, the I&I officials observed huge amount of tax evasion. The sources told on the condition of anonymity that importers were given benefit by the officials of the collectorate.

According to documents available with The News, Directorate of I&I Custom regional office received information that M/S C Int was involved in evasion of duty and tax on import of home theater appliances and musical instruments such as audio, video sound receiver amplifier, audio video integrated network amplifier along with integrated speaker & woofer system under PCT and deprived national exchequer of huge revenue.

According to documents, the GD No. LAPR-HC-7661 was e-blocked at gate two stage and goods were examined in the presence of importer by a team of directorate.

The scrutiny of the documents uploaded in the system and examination report of the directorate revealed that M/S C Int Lahore, hoodwinked the authority filing untrue goods deceleration under Section 79 of the Custom Act, 1969 by concealing the actual description of the goods to avoid application of correct valuation ruling No 1095/2017 and ruling No 1644/2022. Thus, the importer committed offence under clause (a) and (c) of section 32 (1) of the Custom Act, 1969.

Furthermore, during the investigation, the importer failed to substantiate fair transaction value of renowned brands of ‘home theater appliances and musical instruments’ of Vienna and China origin by importing from third party UAE-based supplier without opening the letter of credit from the scheduled bank and under validation contract.

According to documents, such omission on the part of M/S C Int and Clearance Collectorate resulted in the evasion of duty and taxes amounting to Rs36,154,436 which is recoverable under section 32(2) and 2002 of the Custom Act, 1969. Therefore, these goods were seized under section 168 after issuance of the notice under Section 171 of the Custom Act, 1969.

According to documents, forgoing M/S C Int Lahore has been found instrumental in making short payments/evasion of leviable duties and taxes and caused huge loss to national exchequer.

The News contacted to Chief Custom Collectorate Appraisement, Lahore Headquarter Rubab Sikandar and she said that her department takes action within no time if such violation is observed. She shared that the case has been decided by adjudication collectorate on April 7. She further added that as far as speakers are concerned, the collectorate’s view was upheld and no change in duty taxes was made as collectorate had already increased 10 to 20% loading charges making the value higher.

Rubab further explained that for amplifier Rs10 lakh duty has been assessed on already paid duty. The Chief Custom Collector further explained that no appeal filed by the Intelligence Department yet.