The anti-smuggling staff of Customs, Faisalabad has unearthed Rs400 million worth of smuggling cases in the last six months while the culprits involved in only Rs30-40 million worth of smuggling have been caught during the period, said Additional Collector Customs (Anti-smuggling) Ghulam Nabi Kamboh.

Speaking to the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Saturday, he termed smuggling a menace for the national economy and considered it the duty of every patriotic Pakistani to play his due role in the elimination of the threat.

“Elements involved in smuggling are actually a risk to national sovereignty and they must be dealt with an iron hand,” he stressed.

Regarding the overall strength of his staff, he was of the view that the number was insufficient to man all the entry points of Faisalabad. “However, it does not mean that we would show slackness,” he told businessmen and added that the anti-smuggling staff was ready to face every challenge.

He boasted that the department’s performance had improved 800% compared to the previous six months.

He pointed out that recently the anti-smuggling staff had recovered 500 smuggled LCDs from a congested market of Faisalabad. “Similarly, a huge quantity of dry fruit has also been recovered from storage while its owners have no import document.”

He assured the businessmen that the anti-smuggling staff would nab the major smugglers causing a big dent to the exchequer instead of wasting energy on petty smugglers.

Speaking on the occasion, FCCI President Rana Sikandar Azam said being a patriotic Pakistani, no one could support smuggling and expressed shock that smuggled goods were being traced back to Faisalabad – a city far away from national borders.

“Faisalabad is a massive market and our importers have to buy goods from border cities but they are nabbed when they bring the goods to this city,” the chamber president said.

He underlined the need for swiftly resolving the problems of genuine businessmen and taking strict action against the real culprits.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2020.