LAHORE - The Collectorate of Customs Preventive has achieved many milestones including launching of anti-smuggling operations software applications’ and establishment of control room in digitalising the customs operation besides far reaching measures of welfare and motivational significance of the staff have also been taken to improve the performance of the department.

This was stated by Customs Collector (Preventive) Zulfiqar Younis to Customs and Tax Reporters Association Lahore (CTRA) in a capacity-building workshop here at Customs House. Zulfiqar said that Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) developed the unique software that was incorporated in the Collectorate operational system, but on test basis, to control smuggling and related activities speedily and effectively.

To a question, Zulfiqar said that field Customs officials checking and detecting smuggling were also given fiscal incentives, as per FBR rules and in accordance their grade and salary, on detection of any major smuggling consignment. He said that the proportion incentive might be one-third of the revenue of the detected goods or two years basic salary of the respective officer, whichever was less.

To another question, he said that he had successful meeting with officers of Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory, who offered to conduct forensic test of the mobile-phone data of smugglers. “Of course, we will send the smugglers’ cellular phones to the forensic laboratory for a detailed analysis of their data,” he responded to a reporter’s query.

Zulfiqar also mentioned that Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Pakistan Railways Police and Customs officials were jointly checking the trains bound for India to detect smuggling. The collectorate is in the process of undertaking several initiative in the near future such as the Green Customs House Projects which includes shifting the customs House to solar energy, beautification of the Customs House, enhanced security and installation of elevators in the house, he added.