ISLAMABAD: The Collectorate of Customs Appraisement, Karachi has booked a private company, its abettors’ and facilitators in relation to the illegal enroute pilferage/removal/disposal of imported goods.
According to official documents, M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited bearing NTN 7070443 with business address of 13-KM, Satyana Road, Opposite Chawla Farm, Faisalabad imported a consignment of declared 100 percent cotton grey yarn compact on cones for weaving with contamination controlled specification stuffed in the container No FCIU7466990 under Bill of Lading No. KMTCTAO6530930A.
The importer filed Bond Goods Declaration bearing No. KAPS-IB-17355 dated August 11, 2023 seeking release thereof for onward warehousing in the Public Bonded Warehouse Namely M/s Junaid Brothers.
The GD was released accordingly for warehousing in the Public Bonded Warehouse, namely M/s Junaid Brothers against indemnity bond signed by Muhammad Asfand Riaz Chawla Director of M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited and the post-dated cheque for the sum of Rs 10,433,977/- drawn at National Bank of Pakistan, Kohinoor City Branch, Faisalabad.
Subsequently, information was received by the R&D section of the Collectorate of Customs Appraisement (SAPT), Karachi through the Collector of Customs Appraisement-SAPT, Karachi to the effect that some importers are involved in the mis-use of the Into-Bond facility by diverting bonded goods during the route from the port to public bonded warehouse, thereby evading leviable duties/taxes.
In this regard, it was further stated that the consignment cleared for warehousing on August 11, 2023 pending payment of duties/taxes, had not been received/available in the said bonded warehouse after its exit from the port area.
Preliminary inquiry into the matter was conducted and a team was constituted to visit the premises of Public Bonded Warehouse M/s Junaid Brothers (Public Warehouse).
The visit revealed that the goods cleared which were gated out on September from the Port Area and destined for the public bonded warehouse were not found on the warehouse premises. On query, the staff of the warehouse disclosed that one Anas approached them for warehousing of the goods imported by M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited, Faisalabad and requested for approval in this regard which was granted to them in WeBoc.
However, the goods imported for warehousing vide GD No. KAPS-IB-17355 dated 11.08.2023 had not arrived and were never warehoused.
According to the information, this clearly reflects that the goods meant for warehousing had been illegally removed/enroute pilfered by the importer in connivance with its facilitator.
The Customs Public Bond Licence Holder M/s Junaid Brothers also failed to discharge its duties diligently as it did not report such lapse on the part of the accused importer to this Collectorate despite the fact that the WeBoc system was reflecting that the goods were destined for its Bonded ware house, after it was gate out cleared from the port on September 21, 2023; however, these had not been received/reached even after a lapse of about two months.
The Collectorate of Customs Appraisement states that it is evident that the importer M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited, Faisalabad in active connivance with their accomplices, abettors and facilitators deliberately hoodwinked the customs authorities and managed to illegally remove/pilfered enroute the goods stuffed in container destined for bonded warehouse after gate out from the port area without any intimation to the customs authorities causing loss to the government exchequer to the tune of Rs.5,374,908/- (Approximately).
It is evident that Managing Director/Directors of M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited, Faisalabad, Muhammad Asfand Riaz Chawala S/o Riaz Arshad Chawla Director of M/s Binage Distributors (Private) Limited, Faisalabad and Anas S/o not known and all other accomplices, abettors and facilitators are guilty of the offences as defined under the provisions of Section 2s(iii), 32(1)(2), 32A, 88, 178 and 192 of the Customs Act, 1969 punishable under clauses 9, 10, 14, 14A and 86 of section 156(I) ibid read with Section 3, 6 of the Sales Tax, 1990 and Punishable under Clause (5) of Section 33 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. The offence also attracts the provision of the Section 148 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
The role of the Customs Public Bonder M/s Junaid Brothers and other accomplices, abettors and facilitators in relation to the illegal enroute pilferage/removal/disposal of the goods imported thereby evading duty/taxes leviable thereon shall be ascertained during the course of the investigation.
Consequent upon approval by the competent authority, the FIR has been lodged accordingly for in-depth investigation into the matter.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023