ISLAMABAD           -      Pakistan Customs has intensified its operations against the importers responsible for under-invoicing, over-invoicing and mis-declaration, as un-earthed under invoicing of Rs330 million in a recent development.

Pakistan Customs has un-earthed a big case of under-invoicing whereby certain importers imported TANG’ Brand Drinking Powder at exorbitantly low value at $0.4 per KG. Pakistan Customs obtained actual export documents of such consignments from UAE Customs which reflected the actual value at $2.39/KG. Evaded amounts of duty / taxes are to the tune of Rs330 million. During preliminary investigations, it has transpired that the importers established Shell Companies in Dubai which were used for the transfer of the amounts of the under-invoiced goods while the remaining amounts were transferred through Hawala / Hundi. Pakistan Customs has initiated serious action against such importers.

Pakistan Customs has put in place proactive / preventive mechanism to effectively control under-invoicing / over invoicing and mis-declaration (at the import stage) keeping in view the fact that these phenomena not only cause revenue haemorrhage and loss to domestic industries but the same are instrumental source of trade-based money laundering and terrorism financing. Such malpractices are now treated as Fiscal Fraud under Customs Act, 1969 of Pakistan. It is pertinent to state that Pakistan Customs is actively obtaining export documents, to avert under-invoicing from major trading partners of Pakistan including China, U.A.E, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong.

An official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has informed that Pakistan Customs has not only intensified its operation against under-invoicing and over invoicing as it is also taking action against smuggling. He said that raids are being conducted on dumping places used for storage of smuggled items and intelligence based operations are being conducted in all major cities including Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Multan to root out the network of smugglers.

According to the FBR, as a result of these coordinated efforts and renewed vigour, Pakistan Customs has made historic seizures of smuggled goods during the month of July 2020 including gutka, betel nuts, skimmed milk, cigarettes, Iranian diesel, tyres, non-duty paid vehicles, narcotics, cloth, gold and foreign currency amounting to Rs3800 million. There is 143 per cent increase in the value of seized goods as compared to the seizures amounting to Rs1560 million made during July 2019. Pakistan Customs pledges to continue this momentum against smuggling mafias with the assistance of all Law Enforcement Agencies to protect local industry and economic interests of the country.