Customs Intelligence registers FIR against China Pakistan Tobacco for tax evasion

ISLAMABAD: Customs Intelligence has registered an FIR against the China Pakistan Tobacco Ltd, an industrial concern located in Export Processing Zone (EPZ), Risalpur on the charges of tax evasion.

Document available with Pakistan Today reveal that the regional office of Customs in Peshawar had received an information to the effect that China Pakistan Tobacco Ltd, an industrial concern located in EPZ, Risalpur is involved in misusing the exemption of duty and taxes available to units operating in the EPZ by illegally removing duty free imported goods.

Pursuant to this information, the staff of Field Investigation Unit (Unit) Mardan along with representative of EPZ visited the premises of the said company.

The team carried out stock taking as well as checked physical condition of imported goods including cigarettes, tobacco, printed laminated roll, tear tape, merchandise cigarette and cigarette flavoring material.

During stock taking of the goods, it was observed that seals of certain cans containing cigarette flavors were not intact. To probe further, six representative samples were drawn from five broken seal containers and one from intact seal container. The sample drawn from intact seal container was drawn with the intention to compare it with the composition of samples drawn from broken seal containers.

These samples were henceforth referred to PCSIR Lab, Peshawar for analytical test. In response, the said authority intimated vide Lab report number 14981 dated July 4, 2019 that samples drawn from broken seal containers contains 99 per cent water and traces of cigarette flavor while the sample drawn from sealed container contains cigarette flavor.

The above report of PCSIR Laboratories confirmed the clandestine removal of original contents of cigarette flavor material from 160 cans. The broken cans filled with water along with other imported material were accordingly seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1969. Moreover, the stock available with the unit was compared with their import data and some discrepancies were noticed.

The seized goods were handed over to the EPZ authorities in terms of section 168(1) of the Customs act, 1969. The total estimated value of the aforementioned seized goods is Rs41.31 million. An FIR has been lodged against the company for criminal prosecution.

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