Senate Panel to Discuss Valuation Fraud Committed by Customs Officers in Quetta

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Monday will discuss the billions of rupee valuation fraud committed at the Collectorate of Customs Appraisement, Quetta.

Sources told ProPakistani that the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has directed the FBR to update the members on this matter.

It is pertinent to note that the Customs Intelligence and Investigation had unearthed this billion of rupee scam in which collectors of the Quetta Collectorate of Appraisement had reportedly been fixing very low and nominal advance assessable values of certain imported goods, including dry fruits and tiles for the last five to six years whereas the Directorate of Customs Valuation had already determined much higher values of the same goods.

Subsequently, Chairman FBR had constituted a four-member fact-finding committee comprising Director General (DG) Post Clearance Audit Seema Raza Bukhari, Collector Fayyaz Rasool Maken, Additional Director Khaldin-ul-Haq, and Deputy Director Fahad Bashir.

The fact-finding committee declared the appraiser as well as other lower staff of customs responsible for this billion rupee fraud however sources said that chairman FBR while issuing the displeasure letter to two inquiry members, directed the committee members to resubmit the report as they have not determined the role of high ups including the collectors in this valuation fraud.

Sources told ProPakistani that the fact-finding committee has now sought the valuation decisions done by the collectors from 2015 to 2021. Sources said that Customs Intelligence and Investigation has also submitted its reply with regard to the ongoing inquiry. They have a point of view that the law empowers the wing of customs to investigate the cases.

Reportedly, one accused collector in its reply to the fact-finding committee stated that the Customs Intelligence is not empowered to exercise the power of valuation under Section-25 of the Customs Act. “It would have been better if the Directorate of I&I had assessed the seized goods from the respective appraisement authorities instead of assessing the seized goods on their own,” he mentioned in his reply.

It is pertinent to mention that FBR had formulated an SRO in October with regard to Local Valuation Committee Rules under Section 25 A of the Customs Act, 1969 which is pending as the Customs department is waiting for comments from the collectorate on this matter.

Source: Pro Pakistani