ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- The Customs Department has foiled attempt of smuggling of sugar and urea to Afghanistan and seized thousands of tonnes sugar and urea fertilizers in in Khuzdar, Blochistan.
In pursuance of the directions of the Prime Minister to launch a crackdown against the smuggling of essential items from Pakistan to the neighboring countries, credible information was received through Faiz Ahmad, Director General, Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) – Customs, Islamabad that a huge quantity of Pakistan origin fertilizer urea and sugar is dumped at different premises in and around Khuzdar City, for onwards smuggling from Balochistan to Afghanistan.
Dr. Tahir Qureshi, Director, Directorate of I&I – Customs, Gaddani was assigned the lead role in conducting the operations in association with the officials of the Regional office Quetta who deputed Moeen Afzal Ali, Additional Director to execute the operation for the seizure of the essential items from various dumping sites.
The Customs Intelligence team led by Majid Hussain Gaad, Assistant Director, was assisted by Frontier Corps, Kalat Scouts at Khuzdar, district administration, and police. The joint team searched the farmhouse of the local smuggler and recovered 26,407 bags of fertilizer urea and 8,209 bags of sugar from the premises.
The owner of the premises could not produce the documents about the legality of the goods stored as per the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Agriculture & Cooperatives Department, Government of Balochistan against the hoarding, illegal transport, and smuggling of essential items. The premises was sealed and the seized goods were handed over under supardari to the local police.
After successfully accomplishing the first leg of the operation, the team thereafter conducted the raid on another specific compound, namely, Shafiullah Crushing Plant which resulted in the recovery of 10,630 bags
To pursue the third part of the Intel, the Joint Team reached the Arbab Complex, a local market, where shops have been rented for the purposes of illegal hoarding of essential items with the intent to smuggle these goods out of Pakistan. The team faced stiff resistance from the owners of the shops who did not allow access to the team. After lengthy deliberations and negotiations with the help of local elders, the joint team managed to disperse the crowd.
After securing the shopping complex, a thorough search of each shop was conducted that resulted in the recovery of 22,978 bags of sugar and 2,646 bags of fertilizer. Consequently, the entire stock was seized under the relevant provisions of the laws.
Earlier in two other operations Customs Intelligence Baluchistan also seized 2,200 bags of urea fertilizer and 10,000 bags of sugar at Gadani and Noshki during the past few days.
During the ongoing operations against the smuggling of essential commodities, the Customs Intelligence has seized 41,883 bags of urea fertilizer having a market value of Rs. 167.532 million, and 44,957 bags of sugar having a market value of Rs. 224.785 million.