ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Customs authorities to deposit all the valuable articles including gold/cash and ornaments etc in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) or National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to avoid incidents of theft from Customs warehouses in future.

The own motion investigation was initiated by the FTO regarding seized/confiscated valuable articles including local and foreign currencies, precious metals like gold and silver lying in Customs warehouses.

The FTO has received a number of complaints that the due to negligence and inefficacy of Customs officers and officials, the seized/confiscated valuable articles lying in Customs warehouses have been misappropriated/stolen.

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The FTO has examined the replies received from Customs field formations. There are many deficiencies in the safe custody of the seized/confiscated valuable articles including gold.

The Customs field offices failed to explain the reason why most of the seized/confiscated goods are still in state warehouses and why they have not deposited in the SBP or any other concerned bank.

The Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement) Lahore failed to deposit the remaining 46 items/goods into the SBP despite the fact that 54 items (out of 100) were stolen from the state warehouse. The FTO observed that some of the items/goods were still pending for auction.

The Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement) Karachi failed to provide current status/information regarding 126 items/goods due to the reason confirmation of this case is pending for stock taking.

The Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement) Peshawar has deposited some gold in the SBP, but some still being kept in the state warehouse.

The current status of adjudication proceedings of the cases is not clear.

The field offices have still not provided complete information as required by the FTO.

The FTO has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to complete all the missing information/details in every manner.

The FTO has further directed the FBR to deposit all the valuable articles including gold/cash and ornaments etc in the SBP/NBP to restrict theft/ misappropriation.

The FBR should also provide the exact status of the adjudication proceedings pending before different forums and pursue properly regarding theft/ misappropriation of the valuable articles especially in the Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement) Lahore, the FTO added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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Ch K A Nye Apr 20, 2024 10:14am
Two words: inside job.
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