VEHARI-The agents wandering in and around the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department have been let loose by the authorities concerned to fleece the visitors.

Lawyers and social activists protested against the agent mafia and demanded strict action against them in Vehari office. They said that many agents impersonating as government officials loot the public. The excise inspectors are involved in corrupt practice also, they alleged. There should be inquiries into the token and tax frauds in different colonies as the excise officials issue fake receipts against payment of token and property taxes, they said.

Social activist Malik Tanvir Bhara said excise inspector Chaudhry mahboob had been working in excise office Vehari for 10 years and he had made property worth millions of rupees in a short span of time because of corruption. He also blackmailed the transporters and others and received bribe, he alleged. He demanded action against the “corrupt” excise officer.

Citizen Aslam said that Vehari city is considered a lucrative market for used tractors and auto parts. Their dealers with the assistance of excise officers sold reconstructed tractors, vehicles and others against fake receipts and registration number, he said. The excise officials overcharge for the new registration of vehicles, motorbikes and others they are charging huge amount from transporters who want to save token tax, he said.

The citizens claimed that the agents who sit and in outside the excise office are so influential that no work could be done without greasing their palm. Agents receive hundreds of rupees from the people who come to excise office for the registration of their vehicles, bikes etc.

“One Imran contacted to ETO to get information about a motorcycle registration with the office, but he was denied on the pretext that the record keeper was unavailable. When he paid Rs100 to an agent he provided him details within five minutes. People faced a lot of difficulties due to negligence of the excise officials,” they said.

Agents have set up their permanent offices in the shops illegally and they are doing their business without any hesitation, they said.

According to citizens, the agents and the excise officers make regular payment to their high-ups to carry on the illegal business. They said that the Anti-Corruption Establishment office is located in front of the excise office but do not take action against the corrupt mafia.

When contacted, ETO Fakhar Hussain Fakhar denied all the allegations however he was reluctant to explain the involvement of agents in the official affairs.