ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s startling revelation that a Customs collector was illegally earning an exorbitant amount of Rs700 million per month has triggered a serious debate among the concerned quarters.
However, sources have confirmed that the prime minister was talking about Quetta Customs Collector (Appraisement) Mr Raza, who was allegedly involved in corrupt practices.
Raza is a grade-20 officer of Pakistan Customs, serving as Quetta Appraisement Collector since February this year.
According to the sources, owing to Raza’s close ties with the incumbent Customs Operation Member, he remained on important positions throughout his 24-year service.
Last month, Quetta Customs (Appraisement) Deputy Collector Muhammad Ibrahim was transferred to Islamabad’s internal audit dept owing to corruption allegations.
“The department is full of corruption and nobody, including the Federal of Revenue chairman, is paying any heed to the matter,” sources said.
Recently, Customs Intelligence-Peshawar had confiscated smuggled pomegranates worth millions of rupees. The department had written a letter to the FBR chairman in this regard, highlighting the involvement of Customs officials working at the Pak-Afghan border. However, Shabbar Zaidi ignored the issue while the powerful officials continue to hold their positions in the area.
Sources further claimed that the FBR was also not bothered about the Federal Tax Ombudsman’s order regarding the misuse of the import-cum-export facility in respect to gold, jewellery and other precious metal, resulting in a massive loss of revenue (around Rs68 billion in two cases) to the national exchequer. The FTO had maintained that the Customs Operation Member, along with other senior officials, was involved in the said misuse.
Meanwhile, President Dr Arf Alvi had recently rejected the present Customs field formations and had directed the tax department to take action against the involved officers. However, as per sources, no progress was made to this end.
FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi did not reply to Profit’s questions regarding Quetta Customs Collector (Appraisement) Mr Raza.
However, when asked about the corrupt practices by officials posted at Torkham, the FBR Chairman replied, “We are trying our best to eliminate the menace of corruption from the department.”