Customs seize Afghan goods worth Rs120m


Shahzad Baloch April 22, 2010

QUETTA: Authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle goods across the border from Afghanistan and seized material worth over Rs120 million loaded on 12 trucks,said the customs collector in a press release here on Thursday.

Customs officials were aided by the Frontier Corps in the operation. The goods, the official said, were being smuggled into Balochistan through the Chaman border post. Customs officials blocked highways and other routes and mounted spot searches in search of goods imported by Afghan traders which reentered Pakistan.

The goods, transported across the border under the Afghan Transit Trade scheme, were being smuggled back into Balochistan. Collector Customs Hafiz Matihullah said that about 600 to 700 trucks bring transit trade goods back to Pakistani markets every month from Afghanistan. He said that the crackdown had been ordered by the Federal Board of Revenue when it found out about the misuse of the Afghan Transit Trade facility for Afghanistan.

Matihullah said that there was a substantial improvement in tracing smuggling following the government’s decision to revive customs’ checkpoints at Buleli and Lak Pass in the outskirts of Quetta, besides beefing up security measures at the Shella Bagh checkpoint on the highway linking Kandahar in Afghanistan and Quetta. He also said that customs officials had seized more than three tons of opium and other smuggled narcotics that had been hidden inside oil tankers, adding that his department had already achieved its revenue target of Rs600 million.

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