Saturday October 16, 2021

Customs lodge criminal case over pilferage of tipping paper

October 04, 2021

A criminal case had been lodged by the Collectorate of Customs (Exports) on pilferage of tipping paper.

Irfan Ali of the Pakistan Customs said that following a credible information on the pilferage of tipping paper, which is used in the manufacturing of cigarettes, from the Karachi Export Processing Zone, the Collectorate of Customs (Exports), Port Muhammad Bin Qasim in a prompt action raided the warehouses of the involved units and successfully seized a huge quantity of tipping paper which was set to be delivered clandestinely in the tariff area. The details of the incident as reported in the FIR registered on Saturday by the Collectorate are:

On September 30, 2021, information was received by the Collectorate of Customs (Exports) Port Muhammad Bin Qasim that tipping paper imported by a unit in the Export Processing Zone, M/s General Trading Company, had been pilfered to the tariff area without payment of duties and taxes.

Accordingly, data was scrutinised which revealed that the tipping paper had recently been imported by M/s General Tobacco Company vide Goods Declarations No. PQZI-EP-4622-28-08-2021 and No. PQZI-EP-6186-15-09-2021 filed through Customs Agent M/s Rahbar Agency.

The premises of the General Tobacco Company were immediately visited where no stocks of the imported tipping paper were found. The manager of the importing unit stated that their User ID has been misused and that they had not imported any tipping paper.

On the following day, October 1, information was received that the imported tipping paper was being transported and stored at another Export Processing Zone unit, M/s Sitara Trading, from where it was being smuggled into the tariff area in smaller consignments.

The search was made and twenty-eight pallets carrying 2,997 bobbins of tipping paper were found on the premises of M/s Sitara Trading, out of the 78 pallets carrying 8,432 bobbins. It transpired that 50 pallets carrying 5,435 bobbins of the tipping paper had already been pilfered to the tariff area.

The import data of M/s Sitara Trading was also scrutinised which revealed that the unit had been inactive since long time and had illegally stored the tipping paper and further pilfered it to the tariff area without payment of duties and taxes. Hence the goods and unit were seized and sealed under the Section 168 of the Customs Act,1969.

According to the FIR, M/s General Tobacco Company and M/s Sitara Trading in connivance with Customs Agent M/s Rahbar Agency had smuggled imported tipping paper to the tariff area, causing a huge loss to the national exchequer amounting to Rs25,755,445. Further investigations are under way.