ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided to start an investigation against incumbent Customs Intelligence and Investigation Director General (DG) Shaukat Ali and a former employee of Customs, namely Mushtaq Sarghana, on alleged charges of corruption amounting to billions of rupees.
Sources inside the anti-graft body told Pakistan Today that the NAB Rawalpindi office would conduct an inquiry against the director general and former employees of Customs Intelligence on allegations that they undertook foreign visits on business passports and were living beyond means.
A Customs Intelligence employee Amir Shabbir had filed a complaint against Shaukat Ali and Mushtaq Sarghana before the NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal. He requested the anti-graft body’s chairman to investigate DG Ali and Sarghana, a retired customs employee of grade-16.
Sources said that the complainant provided documents carrying details of Ali’s visits to Dubai on his business passport and copies of departmental inquiries pending against him to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman and prayed that an inquiry should be conducted into his bank accounts and other assets.
The NAB chairman accepted the complaint and appointed Rawalpindi NAB director general as an inquiry officer to carry out further proceedings.
Further, sources said that DG Ali had made several visits to Dubai on passport number DE1791854, and interestingly, he had declared himself a businessman in order to obtain a visa. The rules bound the government officials to get no-objection certificates (NOC) from the department concerned while visiting abroad, but Ali did not get the NOC from any department, the sources added.
Moreover, sources informed that Sarghana was the frontman of DG Ali and was now running independent warehouses. In the process, he had accumulated wealth amounting to millions of rupees.
It is pertinent to mention here that certain customs officials filed a petition against their superiors in Lahore High Court (LHC). The high court had advised the FBR chairman to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report.
Moreover, the sources said that FBR chairman in his report had cleared Shaukat Ali of all charges and found the allegations as baseless, unsubstantiated and frivolous.
Customs officials informed that the affairs of Customs Intelligence and Investigation wing had been deteriorating with the passage of time. A number of inquiries, including the Samaryal dry port inquiry, have not been completed yet.
Furthermore, the Balochistan NAB office was already conducting an inquiry against the customs intelligence officials involved in the organised smuggling of vehicles, particularly old/used trucks, which were banned by the government and could not be imported into the country per the Import Policy Order, 2016.
It is pertinent to mention here that DG Ali did not answer his phone nor did he reply to any SMS when this scribe tried to contact him for comment.