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Customs seizes Rs10bn goods over smuggling, trade violation charges in five months

December 05, 2023

The Customs Intelligence have seized goods worth Rs10.5 billion over smuggling and import violations in the past five months in Karachi, the agency’s spokesperson Syed Irfan Ali said on Monday.

Ali said that on the instructions of the federal government, Customs Intelligence director general (DG) Faiz Ahmed Chadhar supervised a strategy to curb smuggling of goods, under-invoicing and misdeclaration of imports as well as money laundering.

Logo of the Pakistan Customs Service.— Photo courtesy The News International/File
Logo of the Pakistan Customs Service.— Photo courtesy The News International/File

He said that Customs in coordination with Rangers, police and intelligence agencies have intensified the crackdown against smuggled goods in the Yousuf Goth, Sohrab Goth, Aram Bagh, Jodia Bazar, Lea Market, Shershah and Tariq Road areas.

Other officials said that with the help of law enforcement and security agencies, Customs conducted raids in the above-mentioned so-called no-go areas for the agency and seized smuggled goods worth billions of rupees, while facing a severe resistance from the miscreants.

The smuggled goods, including cloth, cigarettes, betel nuts, tyres, auto parts, electronics and other items, confiscated during July and November 2023 have been valued at Rs5 billion, which is 570% more than the recovery in the corresponding period in the last year, officials added. They said that as second part of the strategy, supervision of import and export clearances at the airport and seaports was improved through increased vigilance.

As a result of which, cases of under-invoicing, misdeclaration and misuse of trade concessions, amounting to more than Rs5.4 billion, were caught in the past five years. Officials added that five cases of money laundering, involving illegal transfer of $150 million out of the country, were detected and FIRs were lodged against the culprits.

They said that the Federal Investigation Agency’s anti-money laundering unit was also taken on board in these cases to nab the Hawala and Hundi operators who facilitated the money transfer abroad.

They said that the pre-emptive alerts and information-based enforcement actions by Customs Intelligence were among the factors that led to significant increase in revenue on imports collected through four appraisement collectorates and one air freight unit of the agency in Karachi.

According to them, the DG Customs Intelligence has lauded the efforts of the agency’s director Habib Ahmad and his team, including additional directors, for the achievements in the crackdown.