Social websites become hub of smuggled cars

ISLAMABAD: The non-custom cars smuggled through Afghanistan border are being sold in Pakistan through social websites. The traffickers also offer to purchase the precious and costly cars and provide the facility of delivering them at door step, Pakistan Today observed.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Cyber Crime Unit, and Customs Authorities have turned a blind eye over this irregularity which could cause a hefty loss to national exchequer.

On Facebook, pages with the names of “Non-custom cars kabli”, “Non-custom cars” “Non-custom paid kabli cars”, “Non-custom paid- NCP kabli cars AK motors” the smuggled cars are being sold at throwaway prices to thousands of customers.

According to details, the smugglers give surety to the customers to deliver vehicles at their desired places in the country by charging an additional cost.

The pages are selling v8 Prado in just 1.6 million, Toyota Land Cruiser ZX in 4 million, Toyota Surf in 1.1 and 1.6 million, Mercedes-Benz E-250 in 2 million,  and charging 0.2 million to deliver anywhere in Pakistan safely.

Interestingly, the smugglers’ have mentioned their mobile numbers; 03458311559, 03169659256, 03168005727, 03329067496, 03003812864, 03457762688.

The traffickers are posting 3 to 4 pictures of every car, jeep and also mention the model number, colour, condition, and company name.

The smugglers advise their customers to use WhatsApp while contacting them as the messages and calls through WhatsApp are encrypted.

This business is on the peak and no authority is interested in putting a ban on it, tracking them, put penalties and take strict actions.

It is an alarming situation for the concerned departments as the smuggled cars could be used in any terrorist attack, abduction, smuggling drugs and other heinous crimes.

The federal government has introduced border management system with Afghanistan to regularise cross-border movement but the flow of non-custom paid vehicles from across the border continues unabated.

According to sources, the notified check posts and unfrequented routes along the border are used to smuggle non-custom paid vehicles into the tribal borderlands and then driven to Malakand division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Registration of non-custom paid vehicles is a major challenge for provincial government

The tribal areas and Malakand have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles during the past three years, because of “soft border policy” for the smugglers.

The issue came under discussion in the provincial apex committee meeting following security agencies reports that unregistered vehicles were used in terrorist activities and the government should work out a registration plan.

The Afghan car dealers have set up sale centres in the towns close to the border in Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces owing to growing demand of non-custom paid vehicles in FATA and Malakand.

Cybercrime Deputy Director Nauman Bodla could not be contacted despite several tries.

When contacted, Director FIA, Mazhar Kakakhel acknowledged that this crime is running through social media and termed it as “crime under customs law,” he said that the FIA and cybercrime have nothing to do with it.

“The Customs intelligence has the technology and power to trace the traffickers; they are doing also,” adding that if they refer us to track then FIA, cybercrime may play their role in it.

“This is a crime and the concerned department should take action against it”, he concluded.


Farid Sabri

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be contacted at his email [email protected], and Twitter: @FaridSabri786

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