Customs’ offices should get police station status

The federal government is to prepare software and set up customs police stations across the country.

Express October 11, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to prepare an anti-smuggling performance reporting software and to set up customs police stations across the country mimicking regular police stations.

According to a document, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has finalised a summary consisting of proposals to give customs offices the status of police stations. The summary will be sent very soon to the home ministry for its approval.

The document points out that, although the Control of Narcotics Substances Act 2007 authorises customs officers to take action against drug traffickers, no customs office has been given the status of a police station and therefore the customs officers face serious difficulties in having FIRs registered against individuals involved in the smuggling of drugs. The steps to curb smuggling are not proving to be effective in this situation, the document says.

The document says that a comprehensive strategy has been prepared to make anti-smuggling efforts effective and it is being implemented on a medium-term basis. Additionally, many legal steps are also being introduced to reduce smuggling of drugs and other goods.

According to the document, a risk profile of smuggled goods was being prepared to further stop smuggling. In addition, data management is also being improved further.

The FBR document mentions that the monitoring of goods and vehicles was being done through the tracking system to stop the misuse of the Afghan transit trade agreement. The checkposts at various routes of the Afghan transit trade have also been reopened.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2010.


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