Pakistan Customs Unearths Huge $1.69 Million Money Laundering Scheme

The Customs Intelligence Karachi has started an investigation against 12 importers under money laundering laws on allegations of remitting foreign exchange worth $1.69 million through illegal channels.

Documents state that the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation Customs Karachi has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against 12 importers on allegations of remitting foreign exchange worth $1,694,178 through an illegal channel and circumvention of mandatory requirements as to the filing of Electronic Import Form (EIF).

The importers allegedly include M/s Uffan Traders Muhammad Affan, M/s Ayyaz Enterprises, Directors of M/s AM Associates (Pvt) Ltd, Jelani Enterprises, Directors of M/s Skyelectric, SasPak Cargo, Directors of M/s RA Engineering, M/s Nadeem Associates, Abdul Wahab Rafiq M/s Mediflux Services, Awan and Agha Associates, Abdul Basit M/s Med vision international, Directors of M/s Millennium Steel, M/s CandF Solutions Customs and Freight, Iman Ali M/s Mix Trade Enterprises, 3-star enterprises, Vista Impex, Directors/owners of M/s Aliz International, Liaqat Ali M/s Humayun Dental Supplies, Ahsan Ellahi Malik M/s Elahi Enterprises, and M/s Salman Corporation.

As per details, forty Goods Declarations filed by 12 different importers were identified in which exemption of chapter 99 of Pakistan Customs Tariff had been availed and the Electronic I-form required to be furnished to Customs was not submitted to Customs for clearance of the respective goods. These importers remitted $1.69 million to the foreign shipper.

An importer is obligated to remit foreign exchange to be foreign shipper through a legal banking channel. Accordingly, he has to apply to the concerned bank in Pakistan for issuance of an Electronic Import Form indicating the amount of foreign exchange that will be remitted to the foreign shipper.

Accordingly, while filing the import goods declaration for import of goods, he has to upload the EIF with GD (issuance of Bank Debit Advice, settlement) thus the importer as well as his clearing agent allegedly failed to discharge their duty for a true declaration under section 79 of the customs Act 1969, at the time of filling of Goods Declaration and committed mis-declaration in terms of section 32 and 32A of the Customs Act 1969.

Because EIF has not furnished to Customs in respect of the forty identified GD before firming any opinion about the illegality of the channel through which the foreign exchange has been remitted each of these importers was served notices under section 27 of Customs Act 1969 highlighting their delinquency and requesting them to furnish information about the legal channel through which they had remitted the foreign exchange to the shippers abroad.

Sources told ProPakistnai that the above-mentioned importers allegedly did not furnish justification about the legality of the dollars remitted by them against the aforesaid shipments, not about the legality of the channel that was used to remit these dollars to the foreign shippers/exporters from any of these 12 importers implying that they cumulatively transferred $1.69 million to their foreign shippers through illegal means.

Foregoing in view, the directorate of IandI Customs Karachi has reasons to believe that the above-mentioned 12 importers with the support of their accomplices are allegedly involved in the offense of money laundering under sections 3 and 4 of the Anti Money Laundering Act 2010 on account of commission of predicate offenses under section 32 and 32A, among others including section 16, 19, 79, 192 and 209 punishable under Customs and SBP laws.

The aforesaid facts prove that the importers and their clearing agents having deployed their proceeds of crimes and ill-gotten gains then avoided the requirements of EIF in a planned and organized manner by claiming the inadmissible exemption of chapter 99 and having gotten the same denied, proceeded to get clearance of their consignments without any penal consequences.

Source: Pro Pakistani