The Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) squad of Rawalpindi Regional Tax Office, in a major counter-evasion operation, has seized two trucks illegally transporting non-tax paid counterfeit cigarettes for supply into the local market.
The trucks were loaded with 300 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes of Classic Brand and Kissan Brand each, containing six million cigarette sticks, stated a press release issued by the Federal Board of Revenue on Friday.
It was mentioned that the market value of the seized cigarettes comes to Rs18,900,000, involving unpaid duties and taxes worth Rs12,646,500. Some of the counterfeit cigarette brands are manufactured in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and then transported across markets nationally without payment of duty and taxes. Inland Revenue Operations Member Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed visited Rawalpindi Regional Tax Office (RTO) and met senior officers as well as the members of the raiding squad.
He appreciated RTO Chief Commissioner Dr Khalid Mahmood Lodhi on his enforcement drive to curb the movement of illicit cigarettes and announced a special reward for the members of the raiding squad.
Dr Ahmed also apprised the RTO staff that from July 1, Track and Trace System would be rolled out to cover tobacco manufacturing across the country, adding that the AJK government had approached FBR to extend the scope of the tracking system to cigarette manufacturing units located in the territory.
The member further stated that FBR was in the process of drafting new rules wherein cigarette brands registered with FBR could only be sold in Pakistani markets.