Custom authorities intercept shipment over alleged evasion of duties

KARACHI: Custom authorities with the help of Federal Investigation Agency intercepted a shipment at Jinnah International Airport over alleged evasion of duties.

According to ACC Sindh Additional Director Ashfaq Alam, the FIA team conducted a raid on the cargo terminal at the airport and intercepted a shipment of an oil and gas surveying company.

A chartered cargo plane was halted and the consignment confiscated through Customs authorities. M/s BGP (Pakistan) International, a Chinese oil and gas surveying company, imported four consignments of surveying equipment worth Rs1.577 billion in 2014 and 2015 against corporate guarantees.

In the absence of corporate guarantees, M/s BGP (Pakistan) Ltd has to pay 26 per cent of duties. Corporate Guarantee is a facility extended to oil and gas surveying companies for importing their equipment without paying taxes with the condition that the same will be sent back within two years.

He added that surveying equipment imported by M/s BGP (Pakistan) International was “meant to be re-exported by 2016 as per corporate guarantees”. However, the company was re-exporting the equipment after the lapse of one year and presented bogus/forged corporate guarantee by manipulating its expiry date from two years to five years through their clearing agent, M/s International Moving & Trading Company.

The consignment was cleared for shipment on the basis of the bogus/forged documents and allowed its loading into the cargo plane, but the ACC timely intervened and stopped the loading process.

Apart from confiscating four consignments, seven other shipments worth Rs834 million are already pending for exports with the Collectorate of Appraisement East over the same issue.

It has been decided that the Pakistan Customs will undertake seizure, recovery and adjudication proceedings, and the FIA will look into any criminal activity pertaining to the submission of bogus/forged export documents as well as purported abatement by government officials. In this regard, an inquiry (No. 43/2017) has been launched.