FBR ordered to compensate merchant for illegal destruction of goods

FTO directs FBR to investigate irregularities committed by senior officials in confiscation case

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Monday while upholding an order of the Federal Tax Ombudmsan (FTO) rejected a representation filed by the apex revenue body against an aggrieved order in a complaint against the collector, MCC Enforcement and Compliance, Peshawar, for failing to release seized goods to the complainants in pursuant to an order-in-remand passed by the collector Adjudication Islamabad. 

According to the details, the FTO had ordered FBR to compensate the complainant according to the market price of the destroyed goods that were lawfully imported into the country with valid NOCs. 

Profit has learnt that a joint team of MCC Enforcement and Compliance, Peshawar, the Directorate of Intelligence, Investigation (Customs), FIA, and PEMRA had seized foreign origin digital receivers from the complainant’s shop who filed an appeal before the Customs Appellate Tribunal, (CAT) Peshawar which remanded the case back to the collector Adjudication, Islamabad.

The collector ordered an unconditional release of the digital receivers, which were lawfully imported on the basis of GDs provided by the complainant, while ordering confiscation of receivers which could not be verified. 

The complainant approached the FTO for the release of his seized goods and prayed that if the goods had been illegally destroyed then compensation equal to market value of the seized goods should be paid to him.

The FTO observed that the department acted in haste and destroyed the seized goods without waiting for the outcome of remand proceedings. Moreover, no evidence was furnished to establish that the goods did not match with GDs/NOC provided by the complainant. The seized goods were neither perishable items nor were they products that had become unfit for human consumption, hence, invoking Section 169 (4) of the Customs ACT to dispose of the seized goods before finalisation of adjudication proceedings was not justified.

While stating that the goods were unlawfully destroyed, the FTO has directed FBR to investigate irregularities committed by senior officials in this regard.

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