KARACHI: Collectorate of Port Qasim has approached the officials of Poland to seek assistance to trace out the actual culprits involved in the smuggling of dual purpose chemical Acetic Anhydride which is used to make heroine, explosives and bombs.
Deputy Collector, Port Mohammad Bin Qasim, Ihsanullah Shah told Customs Today that the consignment was shipped from Poland under description of “summer fluid” which is used in manufacturing of shampoos, adding that irrelevant description was used to hoodwink the customs authorities in order to get the consignment cleared from port. The value of the consignment has been reported as $1.5 million which is around Rs 160 million.
Deputy Collector Shah said that the case was detected during the discreet monitoring of the import data available in WeBOC system, adding that information against the consignment contained non-existent item code and indistinct address of Peshawar based importer. He said that owing to suspicious profile, the custom authorities selected the consignment for physical examination, which led to the recovery of the huge quantity of dual use precursor Acetic Anhydride.
The officials of PMBQ have foiled a smuggling bid of a huge quantity of dual use precursor Acetic Anhydride worth around $1.5 million. The Acetic Anhydride, a main ingredient for preparing narcotics substance as well as use in making highly explosives by the terrorist outfits was shipped from Poland for Peshawar based importer.
Model Customs Collectorate claim to has seized a huge quantity of 15,520 liters equivalent to 16.7 metric tons of pure grade highly sensitive dual use precursor acetic anhydride, a major component of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and also used in illicit manufacturing of heroin.
Shah further said that Chief Collector Appraisement – South Abdul Rashid Sheikh, along with Chaudhry Muhammad Javaid, Collector of Customs Port Qasim inspected the subject consignment. The chief collector issued instructions to the collector to immediately lodge First Information Report (FIR) of the case and to apply modern IT tools for tracking container trail besides latest forensic techniques to apprehend the culprits.
Acetic anhydride is importable only by authorized industrial consumers and the impugned consignment has been imported in violation of the Import Police Order-2016. Accordingly, the consignment has been seized under the applicable laws. The seized Acetic Anhydride is a highly sensitive dual use chemical which is a main ingredient for preparing narcotics substance especially heroin and it is also used in making highly explosive devices by the terrorist outfits. Had this consignment gone undetected, it might have fallen into the hands of rouge elements that might have used it against the interests of the state.
Shah further claimed that the seizure of huge quantity of acetic anhydride is unprecedented in Collectorate’s history and it shows the commitment and resolve of the Pakistan Customs to safeguard society from import of contrabands.
This seizure by Collectorate of Port Qasim has helped save the country from the repercussion of such a highly sensitive material going into the hands of anti-state elements.
FIR of the case has been lodged and raids have been carried out to unearth the perpetrators behind the crime. Office of the Commercial Counselor, Poland is being approached for assistance in the investigation, he added.