ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has declared an amnesty scheme for customs clearance of stolen imported cars without legal action.
Customs authorities’ decision about clearance of stolen imported cars under Transfer of Residence, Baggage Scheme or Gift Scheme upon payment of redemption fine and taxes without following any legal provision has been decleared illegal by the Federal Tax Ombudsman.
In an own motion investigation, the FTO Islamabad found that the decision taken in Customs conference held at the then CBR (FBR) on 02.08.2006 was illegal.
The FTO’s investigation committee also underlined that without following due legal procedures such decisions will promote illegal import of stolen vehicles and facilitate international criminal activities.
In this connection, FTO issued notices to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The FBR submitted report that Customs collectorates in Sialkot and Peshawar had cleared six and three such stolen imported vehicles in 2007 and 2013-2014 respectively.
The FTO also recommended FBR to direct all Collectorates of Customs and other concerned authorities to stop these illegal practices forthwith.
The Customs authorities were also directed that the stolen imported vehicles either should have been returned to authorities of the country from where vehicles were stolen after receiving occurring expenses or these vehicles should have been confiscated and disposed of through public auction.
The committee also recommended FBR to direct MCC Sialkot to seize identified six vehicles and take appropriate legal action against importers involved in such illegal businesses.
The FTO ordered a report from the competent authorities to be submitted within 45 days. Earlier, the FTO took the Own Motion in connection of the decision taken in Customs Conference held at the then CBR (FBR) on 02.08.2006, in which it was decided that the Collectorates may clear stolen imported vehicles after imposition of 30 percent redemption fine under the Provision of Customs Act 1969 while no action should be taken unless recognized agency of the foreign country approaches government of Pakistan.