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Customs foils smuggling bid, arrests three suspects at Karachi airport


May 27, 2018

Customs authorities foiled the first-ever e-commerce scam and arrested three men for trying to fraudulently get highly dutiable goods cleared at the Karachi airport.

The spokesman for the Pakistan Customs said credible information was received that M/s Paradise E-Commerce Solutions, Karachi, an e-commerce company, was engaged in fraudulent clearance of high dutiable goods in the garb of magazines and other printed material at Air Freight Unit, Immediate Clearance Group (1CG), Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.

A team was constituted by Sanaullah Abro, the additional collector of customs, airport, comprising Shoaib Raza, deputy collector and staff of Immediate Clearance Group to check the veracity of the information.

On May 19, 2018, a consignment said to be declared as magazines/printed material consisting of 51 packages weighing 690 kilograms imported by M/s. Paradise E-Commerce Solutions Karachi from M/s. Darlington Postal Company, USAm by EK-600 vide Air Waybill No.176-879I5354 was intercepted.

The importer got the delivery order by the ground handling agent M/s Gerry’s Dnata for clearance.

Deputy Collector Shoaib Raza, examining the documents of the shipment, found strong evidence of misdeclaration. He immediately acted and stopped the consignment from delivery at the ICG gate and ordered a detail examination.

An examination of the goods revealed that the shipment did not contain any magazine/printed material; instead, it contained dutiable goods such as cosmetics, food supplements and vitamins, ladies’ purses and various other household and electronic goods.

One heavy duty 3D printer (which is importable on the submission of an NOC from the Ministry of Interior) was also found in the shipment. The value of the goods seized is Rs3,391,514, involving the amount of duty and taxes totalling Rs2,854,943.

Accordingly, the consignment was seized under Section 168(1) of the Customs Act, 1969. An FIR was lodged before a judge, customs and taxation, Karachi, against the culprits.

Two persons involved in the scam, Mohammad Najib Markatiya owner/proprietor of M/s. Paradise Ecommerce Solutions, Karachi, and Rafique Ahmed Siddiqui, clearing incharge of the firm, were arrested immediately by the customs officials.

The important record has also been recovered from the possession of the accused persons, an investigation has also been initiated, and the role of other associates-in-crime is being determined.

During the course of investigation, it was learnt that the company was involved in a massive fraud by trying to get clearance for high value dutiable goods in the garb of newspapers and magazines.

Another person, Waseem Ahmad, operation manager of company, has been arrested. The record of other 25 shipments has also been retrieved involving an amount of duty and taxes so far estimated to be more than Rs50 million.

However, the final amount will be determined on the completion of the inquiry in the case.

Narcotic seized

Customs staff at the Karachi airport seized 550 grams of amphetamine, a synthetic drug.

A passenger, Rais Khan, son of Waris Khan, was going to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by Shaheen Airline flight 707, when he was intercepted at the airport’s departure lounge at 3:30pm on Saturday on the grounds of suspicion and the drug concealed in food cans were seized from him. The man was arrested and an FIR lodged against him.

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