FBR seals unit for illegal production activities

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sealed a cigarette manufacturing unit in district Mardan over interference in official operation and suspicion that it was involved in the production of counterfeit cigarettes, officials said on Friday.

The FBR has also registered FIR against the directors and three other persons including Ayaz Hoti, Abbas Hoti and Bilal Hoti.

On the special directives of Commissioner Corporate Zone, Regional Tax Office (RTO) FBR Peshawar, Mohammad Tariq Jamal Khattak, Deputy Commissioner (Tobacco), Abdul Baseer Khattak and his team sealed the Indus Tobacco (Private) Limited, Anwar Kalley Mardan. 

For further legal proceedings, the case has been sent to the court of Special Judge (Customs, Taxation & Anti-Smuggling) Peshawar.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner (Tobacco), Abdul Baseer Khattak said the main accused in the case was at large and the factory would remain sealed till the time the management would not allow the FBR monitors inside to check the cigarettes manufacturing process.

Khattak said the FBR had taken action after the official monitors were evicted from the unit forcefully, adding that there were complaints of counterfeit cigarettes manufacturing in the factory.

He said the legal process will be followed to monitor cigarettes manufacturing in the factory and nobody would be allowed production and sale of the counterfeit cigarettes. The FBR is committed to prosecute all those involved in this illegal business.

According to FIR, a Tobacco Monitoring Squad of FBR headed by Inspector Said Ali was on official duty in the cigarette manufacturing factory wherein he was attacked by three persons, was stopped from working, and then kicked out of the production hall.

During that period, the management of the factory allegedly shifted illegal stock of cigarettes from the spot. Three directors of the company were also backing the accused.

The three persons have been nominated as main accused while the directors as co-accused in the case while the factory has been sealed.

The FBR authorities have made clear that the violators of the law would be dealt with an iron hand and tax evaders will get no leniency.

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