NAB arrests betel leaf importer for tax evasion

Accused will be produced before the court for physical remand

Our Correspondent December 06, 2017
FIle photo: A coast guard officer pours kerosene oil on a burning pile of confiscated hashish and bags of betel nuts, during a campaign to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, on the outskirts of Karachi June 26, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Tuesday arrested a betel leaf importer for evading taxes worth Rs16.58 million on the import of goods from Sri Lanka.

A spokesman for the accountability watchdog said Rashid Shams was involved in evading custom duty liable on import of betel leaf in a renowned Rs2.6 billion custom duty corruption case and caused a loss of Rs16.58 million to the national exchequer.

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NAB Lahore is probing a mega corruption scam, allegedly amounting to Rs2.6 billion, on import and evasion of custom duty on betel leaf import. Betel leaf is imported from Sri Lanka and India to Pakistan. By evading and miscalculating custom duty on betel leaf with the alleged connivance of custom officials, numerous private importers and firms managed to evade taxes worth Rs2.6 billion on a collective basis.

The suspect continued importing betel leaf during 2008-2012 through M/s Al-Shams Traders and evaded taxes amounting to Rs16.58 million by paying far less duty in a government designated bank as compared to the amounts shown on the hard copies of goods declaration (GDs).

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In this case of misappropriation, NAB Lahore has already arrested 10 suspects. NAB Lahore will produce Rashid Shams on Wednesday (today) before an accountability court to seek his physical remand for further investigations.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2017.


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