Man held over Rs16.6b corruption

LAHORE  – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday arrested another betel leaf importer, Rashid Shams, for causing a loss of Rs16.58 million to the national exchequer by evading duty and taxes in a Rs 2.6 billion customs duty corruption case, a spokesman for the NAB said. 

He said that NAB Lahore was investigating a mega corruption scam amounting to Rs2.6 billion involving betel leaf import and evasion of customs duty. In accordance with the Pak-Sri Lanka Trade Agreement, betel leaf is being imported from Sri Lanka and India. By evading and miscalculating customs duty on betel leaf in connivance with customs officials, numerous private importers and import firms managed to loot Rs 2.6 billion collectively. 

In this case of misappropriation, NAB Lahore has already arrested 10 other accused. Accused Rashid Shams was arrested on Tuesday in Lahore. He kept importing betel leaf during 2008-12 through M/s Al-Shams Traders and managed to embezzle Rs16.58 million by paying far less duty in a government designated bank as compared to the amount shown on the hard copies of Goods Declaration (GDs). NAB would produce accused Rashid Shams before Accountability Court today to seek his Physical Remand for further investigations.  


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