Customs authorities asked to curb smuggling of food items

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has directed customs authorities to step up their efforts to check the smuggling of essential commodities in line with the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Director-General of Customs Intelligence, Chief Collectors of Customs North and Balochistan have been instructed to utilize all resources at their disposal to curb the smuggling of food items out of the country in coordination with other institutions.

The FRB said the federal government brought an anti-smuggling ordinance to check such illegal activities amid the coronavirus pandemic and empowered law enforcers through the law to act against smuggling.

Earlier this year, President Dr Arif Alvi had signed the anti-smuggling ordinance into law to tighten the noose around smugglers of currency and essential commodities.

According to the ordinance, which was sent to the president for signature after approval of the federal cabinet, those found supplying currency, wheat, flour, rice, and other essential food items through illegal routes will be treated as smugglers and will face up to an imprisonment of 14 years.

Under the ordinance, a person found smuggling Rs3 million worth of commodities will face up to two years in jail while smugglers of Rs5 million worth of essential items will be imprisoned for three years.

Likewise, the ordinance stipulates five-year imprisonment for smuggling of commodities worth Rs7.5 million, 10-year imprisonment for smuggling of items whose value range from Rs7.5 to Rs 10 million, and 14-jail term for smuggling of commodities worth more than Rs10 million.

The perpetrators’ aiders and facilitators will also be punished under the law.