KARACHI: Like any other government department, Pakistan Customs is also afflicted with corruption and bribery, which can be gauged with the fact, unearthed by a survey, that officers/officials at Customs House Karachi alone were minting bribes/speed-money to the tune of Rs3.0 billion a year.
The Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) in a meeting with Nisar Mohammad Khan, Member Customs of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) apprised him that speed-money/bribery was one of the big nuisances that engulfed the entire Customs department where clearance of consignments was not possible without it.
“According to a survey, around Rs3.0 billion worth of speed-money is distributed among customs officials/officers per annum,” informed KCAA.
The Assessment Appraisers of Customs call unnecessary consignments examination and reviews opening doors for corruption.
“There is no secrecy in assessment hall where ‘sepoys’ are active to facilitate appraisers in malpractices, whereas no action is taken against the guilty officers that encourage corruption and lawlessness”.
“Assistant and Deputy Collectors take long time in review as they are usually found in the offices of high-ups or busy in entertaining influential guests. No review is rectified without speed-money”.
Moreover, complaints related to containers grounding, goods for examination, skilled labor, and surveyors, repacking of examined packages, double charges, theft and mishandling were not entertained, KCAA said.
It is also learnt that several international shipping lines operating in Pakistan are not enrolled in Customs Department, resultantly, shipping companies, freight forwarders monopolize the market and promote corruption and lawlessness.