FIA fails to obtain record from Customs Intelligence in mobile phones embezzlement case

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has failed to obtain the record from Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation in a case pertaining to embezzlement of mobile phones, sources revealed.

Documents available with Pakistan Today indicate that the FIA has written a number of letters in the last four months to Customs Intelligence as well as high ups sitting in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarter to obtain the record pertaining to 1,763 confiscated mobile phones allegedly sold to CSD.

The Director Customs Intelligence and Investigation Lahore on January 6, requested to provide record pertaining to 1,763 confiscated mobile phones allegedly sold to CSD. In addition to this, the department had sought the last 10 year record of similar transactions.

The letter further indicates that the Director Intelligence and Investigation Customs FBR Lahore on January 19 informed that as per FBR letter on March 19, 2015, field formations had been restrained from providing information directly to FIA and Customs chief management Islamabad was nominated as focal person to provide the record.

The Customs chief management was requested on January 22 and subsequently on January 30 and another letter was written to provide the requisite record. The letter indicates that in response the secretary, dated February 9, the DG Intelligence and Investigation requested the FBR to provide the relevant information and assistance to FIA. The enquiry officer Assistant Director Muhammad Aman Ullah Khan, also visited the office of DG and assured that the requisite record will be provided before February 15.

However, the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation Additional Director Dr M Mumtaz Ali Raza Ch on March 22 instructed, FBR Special Prosecutor Amna Parveen to hand over the requisite record to FIA after obtaining necessary permission from the Special Judge (Customs and Taxation), Lahore.

Sources told that aforesaid inquiry is one such type. However, a number of incidents happened but everyone is patronising each other. The Lahore Office of Customs Intelligence is not providing the record on the instruction of DG Customs Intelligence, the sources further informed.

Moreover, the sources further said that if the FIA succeeds in obtaining the record than the DG can face difficulty in this case.

Officials on the condition of anonymity told that the investigative agency in its last letter instructed to provide record till April 12, but the high ups of Customs intelligence despite the repeated intimations are not giving any response in this regard.  “We will act against the officials as per law”, the officials added.

Despite repeated attempts, FBR chairman could not be reached for comments.