22 Pak custom officials suspended over involvement in NATO containers scam

Sunday, February 27, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has suspended 22 custom officials for their alleged involvement in the ISAF, NATO containers scam.

The action against the officials has been initiated in the Lunar Products case, in which they had cleared containers under the cover of the ISAF shipment, the Daily Times reports.

The customs officials had failed to prevent a wrong clearance of 52 containers laden with liquor.

The FBR issued three notifications to this effect, and those suspended also included a deputy commissioner of Regional Tax Office, Karachi, deputy collectors, principal appraisers and appraisers.

Official sources say that the FBR had initiated action against the customs officials on the recommendations of the Directorate General (Intelligence and Investigation).

During his investigation, the then DG (Intelligence and Investigation) Lutfullah Virk had found a massive fraud involving 52 containers imported in the name of the ISAF by two Afghan companies, the Lunar Products and KOPCKE Global of Kabul. The Lunar Products had imported 49 containers while the KOPCKE Global had imported three containers.

At that time, the intelligence agency had asked the collectors to investigate the matter to ascertain facts about the containers missing from the database of the Pakistan Revenue Automaton Limited (PRAL).

Sources said that FIRs were registered against the importers and the statements of those involved in the mega scandal were also recorded, adding that action against the officials found involved in the case was being taken now. (ANI)

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