Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2019
Published in Category: Islamabad / Smuggling

Top govt officials involved in smuggling non-custom-paid vehicles

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ISLAMABAD: The top officials of government, federal and provincial ministers, politicians and other high and mighty are allegedly involved in the crime of smuggling non-custom-paid (NCP) vehicles of foreign origin inflicting heavy loss to national exchequer, reliable sources disclosed.

These influential are also using these NCP luxury vehicles by displaying fictitious registration number plates across the country, sources said.

The areas where these NCP vehicles could be seen moving on roads in herds included Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Karachi, Gotki, Hiaderabad and various other parts of Sindh province while the Pakistani authorities including Customs Intelligence, Excise and Taxation Departments, Federal Investigation Agency, police and other law enforcement agencies have badly failed to abolish this practice, sources mentioned.

Sources said these luxury vehicles are being smuggled from various countries into Pakistan allegedly by the diplomatic and non-diplomatic staffers stationed in various embassies in Islamabad and are being sold overtly on a large scale in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and other parts of Sindh Province.

Above all, sources said, the diplomatic and non diplomatic staffers of Afghanistan and China Embassy in Islamabad are fully involved in smuggling/importing luxurious vehicles into Pakistan and selling them at the hands of top guns of government, the politicians and other high and mighty to earn billion of rupees illegally.

A surprise raid by Customs intelligence on some of showrooms as well as in courtyards of some embassies can lead to unearth the scam, they said.

“It has been a routine practice that the smuggled or non duty paid luxury vehicles are being plied on roads by displaying fake number plates in a bid to throw mud into eyes of law enforcement agencies and other authorities concerned,” sources added.

The rampant smuggling/import of luxury vehicles from various countries into Pakistan has been going on unnoticed, depriving the national exchequer of huge revenue to the tune of billion of rupees, something seeking strong attention of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and high ups of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), sources said.

Sharing further details, the sources said very influential person has purchased two precious Mercedes Benz cars E63 AMG and E300 and had displayed same registration number plates (AHZ-063) on both vehicles. They said the owner has sold out one car recently.

A probe on part of Islamabad Excise and Taxation Department in the case may open a new Pandora box, they claimed. Similarly, a Lahore based big wheel has also been using two imported non custom paid yellow coloured Lamborghini Gallardo and pearl white coloured Chevrolet Corvette sports cars putting fake numbers plates (LED-15-8181 and LE-800), record of which were not registered with Punjab Excise and Taxation Department, Lahore, they revealed.

“A former MPA Mir Nadir Khan Magsi of Sindh government also owns non custom paid vehicles,” sources claimed.

Sources revealed another Sindh based politician, who is also part of a provincial government, has recently imported two luxury vehicles Mercedes S500 model 2017 and G63 model 2019 from Abu Dhabi. They said these vehicles were brought at Karachi sea port and cleared off by the authorities without receiving duties apparently on political pressure while conflicting the loss of millions of rupees to national kitty.

Rolls Royce Ghost, Mercedes s1500 and e class, Ranger Rover Vogue, Cadillac Escalade, G Class, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruisers, Lexus lx570, ranger rover and hummer are the other imported non custom paid vehicles that are in use of big guns in Pakistan, they added.

Sources suggested that Customs Intelligence should launch massive crackdown across the country and to carry out raids at houses/mansions of the powerful ministers to impound the NCP vehicles.

During background interviews, the car dealers said, imported cars were smuggled into Pakistan through private jets of foreign delegates/diplomats or Islamabad Dry Port, Afghan Border and Karachi Sea Port have become the hubs and a gateway for the smuggling/import of non custom paid vehicles. The value of each smuggled/imported vehicle is approximately Rs 30 to 30.5 million while the top guns in Pakistan purchase these cars against meagre prices Rs 3 to 5 million, they said.

Nonetheless, Customs Intelligence Islamabad HQ Superintendent Abdul Malik, during a chat with this correspondent, denied the fact that any diplomat is involved in smuggling NCP vehicles into Pakistan.

“All the diplomats approach Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get Exemption Certificate and only after producing the EC to Customs Intelligence and Car Section at IDP, the diplomats can drive the car out,” he said.

Muhammad Fiaz, another Superintendent deputed at Car Section of IDP, was of view that the dry port deal very less cases of car imports and mostly vehicles are brought at Karachi Sea Port from foreign countries.

Mir Nadir Khan Magsi, however, when contacted for his comments, vehemently denied that he owned even a single non custom paid vehicle. “I am a law abiding citizen and use duty paid imported vehicles,” he said.

A personnel assistant (PA) of a federal minister, who is also accused of using non custom paid vehicles, refused to make this correspondent to talk to minister when this reporter tried to obtain version of minister. “You can never contact the minister by bypassing me,” he replied in a rough tune.

Director General (DG) Customs Intelligence, Chairman Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and spokesman to Prime Minister of Pakistan could not be approached for their comments over the daring theft of custom duties on purchase of luxury vehicles by the ministers, politicians and other high and mighty causing huge loss to the national exchequer.


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