FBR transfers collector custom GB for exposing alleged corruption scam

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has transferred the whistle-blower Collector Customs, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Nisar Ahmad who unmasked a big revenue scam in GB customs and exposed the alleged involvement of DG Customs Intelligence Faiz Ahmad in the scam.

In his letter to member custom operations FBR Mukarram Jah Ansari, the Collector Customs GB had candidly disclosed that Faiz Ahmad DG custom intelligence patronised a criminal principal appraiser, GB customs Raja Waseem who, with the support and protection of DG, caused massive revenue losses by assessing 30 ton weight fabrics and cosmetics containers for an average duty and taxes of Rs 2.8 million and by extorting from importers Rs 3 million per container as bribe money for his assessing the imported goods at nominal duty and taxes causing a massive revenue loss on each container. 

However, instead of displaying a jerk like response on disclosure of a major revenue loss scam in a field formation and ordering an immediate high level inquiry into the alleged collusive connection between DG custom intelligence and the principal appraiser, the FBR chose to straight away dismiss collector’s disclosures and  put its weight in the favour of the DG custom intelligence I&I through an FBR’s response shared with this correspondent. 

FBR  stated in its response on the collector’s disclosure of  massive revenue losses allegedly patronised by DG custom intelligence himself that the  Collector’s allegations were mere accusations intended to malign the senior officers.

In its response to the collector’s disclosures, the FBR stated further that during the current season more than 465 GDs had been filed at Sost Dry Port out of which only eight GDs had been blocked by the DG custom intelligence. However, FBR’s response goes out of the eight blocked GDs, only three were arranged for re-examination wherein a revenue loss of  Rs6.44 million was detected and recovered and the remaining five GDs were not re-examined.

The collector’s disclosure of a serious revenue loss scam in GB customs, senior custom officers’ alleged involvement in the scam and FBR’s response to it  raise more questions than they answer. While framing its response, FBR seems to have ignored many clues which could help FBR reach the truth or otherwise of the collector’s disclosures.

First, a preliminary enquiry into the alleged misconduct of the accused principal appraiser is already on record in which his extortion of bribe money on each import container in return for extending to importers undue duty tax concessions have been established If the circumstances leading to transfer of the disciplinary proceedings against principal appraiser to an officer working under direct subordination of DG custom intelligence is honestly explored, that may help substantiate the alleged collusion between DG and principal appraiser.

FBR has before it much material to work on to prevent ongoing scams in its field formations. However, so far FBR could only transfer a collector who brought to FBR’s notice the dynamics of revenue loss scams in the FBR’s field formations. Meanwhile, Member Customs operations on the query of this scribe said that collector GB Nisar Ahmad has been called to FBR to carry out a fact-finding inquiry into the matter.

The matter is being taken very seriously by FBR & a fair, transparent & independent probe in the matter will be conducted.  Whoever is found responsible for misconduct, action under the law would be initiated.  The Principal Appraiser is currently suspended, and facing an inquiry, he added.


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