The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), on the direction of the Federal Tax Ombudsman, has registered cases against the Excise and Taxation Department officers and officials, who are involved in “illegal registration” of over 6,000 non-custom paid (NCP) and army-auctioned vehicles.
The excise department’s initial inquiry has revealed that the questionable registrations were made on fake documents.
ACE has arrested Abdul Waheed Mayo, an excise department inspector, for being allegedly involved in illegal registration of army auctioned and NCP vehicles on fake documents.
According to sources, the illegal registration of vehicles has caused loss of hundreds of millions of rupees to the national exchequer.
Vehicle registration records are currently being investigated in other regions of the country as well. ACE has sent its progress report against the registration of vehicles to the FTO.
According to the report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, officers and officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab are involved in the registration of NCP vehicles and army vehicles auctioned by the Customs Department on the basis of fake documents.
Inspector Mayo was working against the codal formalities as he relied on online verification of vehicles instead of external verification and registered the vehicles on fake documents, the report said.
It was revealed that Aitzaz Munir Gondal, the assistant director of ACE, conducted an inquiry and found out that serious irregularities were committed by the excise officials in the registration of vehicles. It has been revealed that NCP and army-auctioned vehicles were also registered on fake documents which were already registered in Islamabad and Rawalpindi but the forgers obtained the data of these vehicles for illegal registration of other vehicles.
According to the ACE report, during the investigation of the first case No27/2020, the vehicles found to be illegally registered on forged documents bear number plates LET-18-271, LEB-19-8982, LED-16-661, LET-18-2272, LET18-2242, LES-19-2025 and LE-19A-7770.
The report stated that the said inspector was incorrectly verifying the online vehicle documents in the computer.
A senior ACE official contacted for comments on the illegal registration of vehicles maintained that investigations were under way in more cases and so far about 6,500 vehicles registered on fake and bogus documents had been traced.
Three more cases, including No30/20 and No46/20, have been registered for auctioning of more than 6,200 vehicles by the army.
The case pertains to false verification of documents for the purpose of registration.
A comparison of these documents with the vehicle data revealed that the vehicles that have been cleared and registered by the Excise and Taxation Department lack any record in the list of army-auctioned vehicles.
Officials said that in Case No30/20, 200 vehicles were registered on fake documents showing that they were auctioned by the army, while in Case No46/20, about 6,000 vehicles were registered on fake documents showing that they were auctioned by the army.
The official said that the findings were the result of the action taken by ACE, Lahore.
The operation is still ongoing in more parts of the country and a large number of vehicles with bogus and fake documents have been discovered. Based on the inquiry, action is being taken against the responsible elements.
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