Mysterious backlash: Team asked to investigate missing containers finds their names in FIR

FBR chief, two intelligence officers go to court to have case quashed.


Our Correspondent March 03, 2012

KARACHI: The chief of the Federal Board of Revenue and two intelligence officers from Peshawar have gone to court for being included in an FIR for a case they were actually investigating.

The three men were tasked with looking into the missing containers which were destined from Karachi to Afghanistan. But then, a Karachi deputy customs collector, Jamshed Ali Talpur, filed a complaint and the Jackson police put their names in the missing containers FIR on October 26, 2011.

These three men now want the FIR thrown out.

Leading up to the investigation

After the media highlighted that there was massive pilferage going on in the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT), the case became commonly known as the Isaf container scam.

The Supreme Court took notice of it and after a hearing on September 30, 2010, ordered the federal tax ombudsman to investigate the matter. The court wanted answers to 15 specific questions.

The chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue, Hafiz Muhammad Anees, and two intelligence officers Saad Iqbal and Jawwad Sultan went to work. They found that from January 1, 2007 to October 15, 2010, 7,922 containers never crossed the Pakistan-Afghan border and were either pilfered or dropped within Pakistan’s limits, causing an estimated revenue loss of Rs19 billion. They identified as a “sample case” two companies - Lunar Products, Kabul and Messrs Köpcke Global Trading, Kabul. They found that 52 containers were fraudulently imported in Nato/Isaf’s name.

This team submitted eight progress reports to the Supreme Court and it surfaced that 28,802 commercial and 3,542 non commercial containers never crossed the border.

But then, in October 2011, the deputy customers collector filed an FIR naming the team as accused in the container case.

This team has now appealed to the court to declare the FIR as mala fide and direct the investigating officer to revoke it.

The Sindh High Court issued notices for explanations to the deputy collector, inspector general of police, the Jackson police station investigating officer and judicial magistrate VI, South. The notices have been issued for March 22.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

Parvez | 9 years ago | Reply

A small container is roughly 20ftx8ftx8.5ft while a 40ft is double in length. If one can not keep track of of a box this size in today's age of technology it is not because of the lack of a way to do it but because of a lack of the will to do it. Reason being that big money is made where confusion is created. If some small guys are be made the scapegoat and matter closed it would be tragic, but then history has a way of repeating itself.

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