Smuggling possible through 39 sea routes, report submitted to SC

KARACHI: All the intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, which remain present at the sea ports as well as high seas, have outright denied that arms and ammunition were smuggled in the city through sea routes; however, there are 39 possible sea routes through which a launch can be used for smuggling.

This was stated in a report submitted to Supreme Court, which was prepared by a senior customs official, Ramzan Bhatti, regarding smuggling of arms and ammunition as well as evasion of duty on different items at Karachi port.

The court had formed one-member commission to enquire into the allegations that a shiploads of arms and ammunition were brought into Karachi with the connivance of the then Minister for Shipping, as stated by the DG Rangers and to propose what action should be taken against the persons responsible.

Report said that the commission through notice on 2nd Sept 2013 required the DG Rangers to submit a detailed statement in support of his above statement before the Supreme Court and appear in person on 4th Sept to answer the queries, if any. However, the DG Rangers did not appear on the given date. Instead, he submitted a written statement dated 4th Sept wherein he claimed that calibre of the weapons used by NATO troops was different than the calibre of 30 bore and 9mm used in violence/crime in Karachi, most of the reported missing 19,000 containers had gone to Baluchistan and KPK wherefrom the arms and ammunition comes to Karachi and no name of any minister of the federal government was mentioned in his statement before the Supreme Court except that he just called for investigation as to who was “at the helm of the affairs in the Ministry of Ports and Shipping at that time.”

The report further said that investigations made in a short span of time available to the Commission reveal that hardly any arms and ammunition are being smuggled through sea routes.

All the intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies which remain present at the sea ports as well as high seas have categorically stated that they have neither received any information regarding smuggling of arms and ammunition through sea routes, nor any information has been passed to the Customs to this effect, it added.

However, the DG Rangers had also retracted from his statement recorded by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the judgment dated 3082013.

Report said that it has been informed by different law enforcement agencies that the weapons/pistols used in Karachi violence are of 30 bore or 9mm calibre which are either locally made or of China origin. However, collector of customs Peshawar has confirmed that AK47 rifle of Russian origin and other small arms of US origin are available for sale in tribal areas adjoining KPK. The Customs at Hyderabad has also reported seizures of arms and ammunition.

The Director Intelligence and Investigation (Customs) has surveyed the smuggling dens at Yousuf Goth and Sohrab Goth and reported availability of arms and ammunition, besides other contrabands.

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