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July 13, 2020

Customs officials held after man wounded during ‘shootout with smugglers’

Karachi

July 13, 2020

A passer-by was injured on Sunday as personnel of the Anti-Smuggling Organisation (ASO) of the Pakistan Customs engaged in a shoot-out with alleged criminals in Surjani Town.

After the incident, police detained the Customs personnel and an inquiry committee was formed to ascertain the facts. SM Irfan Ali of the Pakistan Customs said that acting upon credible information regarding the smuggling of contraband goods, personnel of the ASO on duty at the Hamdard checkpoint signalled a Toyota Revo vehicle to stop at around 8am on Sunday.

He added that the vehicle, which was being covered by two other vehicles, did not stop and sped up. Subsequently, the ASO personnel started to chase it and after covering a distance of about 5 kilometres, the suspects opened fire on the Customs team near Naik Muhammad Goth in Surjani Town, in which a passer-by, 24-year-old Murad Ali, was hit by a bullet in his abdomen and was rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

He maintained that as per preliminary information, the assailants belonged to the Asif Sanjlani gang who had also in the past resorted to firing at the Customs officials and cases against individuals belonging to the gang had been also registered by the Customs.

According to Ali, the Customs personnel called the local police for help after the incident but the local police did not reach there on time. However, the Madadgar-15 police reached to help the Customs officials.

He said that despite the fact that all what the ASO personnel did was chasing the fleeing suspects, the local police detained three officials of the ASO.

Collector Model Customs Collectorate Karachi Saqif Saeed took notice of the incident and constituted a committee headed by Additional Collector of Customs Haroon Malik to look into the incident. The committee will ascertain the facts and report by Tuesday 11am. Further investigations are under way.