KARACHI- Pakistan Customs officials have violated the import policy of Ministry of Commerce regarding old vehicles as some 1,500 overseas Pakistanis were waiting for clearance of vehicles for the last two months.

According to sources, officials were busy collecting under table amount by using the name of Federal Board of Revenue Chairman; the officials were demanding lofty amount of 30,000 for the clearance of each vehicle. Moreover, the custom officials themselves finished discount over high-grade vehicles and were demanding heavy bribe from the owners.

According to the sources in customs, Ministry of Commerce has changed the import policy of old vehicle in December last year after that only three-year-old vehicle could be imported rather than five-year-old, this policy was to be exercised from December 15, 2012.

Sources revealed that the then collector, Manzoor Memon directed the officials that those vehicles having “Bill of Landing” till December 14 should be cleared under the old policy and new policy should be implemented from December 15, 2012.

But, Dr Zulfiqar Malik appointed as collector in January, after that officiating appraiser Muhammad Anwar Khan alias Lala and principal appraiser Javaid Raza made new collector agree to write a letter to the Federal Board of Revenue Chairman, in which it was asked from Federal Board of Revenue officials that under which policy they cleared vehicles from 12 to 15 December.

The reply of the letter had not yet received, so it provided base for officiating and principal appraiser along with clearing agent Yasin to take advantage of the situation, so this troika started looting the overseas Pakistanis and denied to clear vehicles of 1,500 overseas Pakistanis that were landed on port before December 14, 2012. These officials collected an amount of some Rs21 million from the owners of 700 vehicles while 800 vehicles were still in abeyance on the port.

The sources said that officiating appraiser Muhammad Anwar Khan has spent large amount for the appointment of Ali Arshad Hakim as the Federal Board of Revenue Chairman.

Moreover, Custom official Riaz Khan stayed Karachi for three days but he didn’t take any action against illicit activities of these officers despite knowing all the ground facts.     

Overseas Pakistanis demanded Ministry of Commerce to take notice of these injustices.

They have demanded the government to take notice of the matter and direct strict action agaisnt the officials accused of taking bribe in this regard.