FIR lodged against Eden Housing CEO for importing BMW on fake NOC

ISLAMABAD: The customs department has lodged a first information report (FIR) against Eden Housing Limited CEO Muhammad Ajmal for importing a bulletproof BMW on a fake Ministry of Interior (MoI) no-objection certificate (NOC).

Documents available with this scribe reveal that Muhammad Ajmal got the consignment cleared from customs on the basis of a fake, forged and fabricated import authorisation/NOC.

As per details, the Eden Housing Limited CEO imported a bulletproof BMW (750Li RHD), bearing chassis no WBALK22000CK77906 and having an engine capacity of 4,395cc, from Germany and filed goods declaration (KAPR-HC-107340 dated 21/03/2013) through his authorised clearing agent, Javed Umer Enterprises. Besides this, importer also provided import authorization/NOC purportedly issued by the Ministry of Interior as required under the import policy order. The aforementioned NOC was forwarded to the issuing authority for confirmation of genuineness of the same. Subsequently, the vehicle was released.

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Documents stated that after about five years, the federal tax ombudsmen on Sept 27, 2018, informed the customs department that an information has been received that a high-security vehicle (model 2013), BMW AG750Li RHD, has been cleared from Customs House Karachi.

Consequently, the customs department sent the NOC to the ministry to check its authenticity on the direction of federal tax ombudsman but no response of the previous letter (dated 25/3/2013) was available on record. After that, the ministry on Nov 13 confirmed the status of the NOC as fake.

According to the ministry, it has been established that the importer namely Muhammad Ajmal, CEO of Eden Housing limited, with the collation of their accomplices, cleared the vehicle on the basis of the fake, forged and fabricated import authorization/ NOC in violation of Customs Act, 1969.  Consequent, upon approval of the competent authority, an FIR has been lodged accordingly for an in-depth investigation into the matter.

Although the customs department has lodged an FIR against the Muhammad Amjad after the five years, the report is silent about those customs officials who cleared the vehicles on fake NOC.

It is pertinent to mention that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is already investigating Rs13 billion worth corruption cases in which Dr Muhammad Amjad and his son Murtaza Ajmal are accused. NAB had arrested his son from Dubai while his wife, the daughter of former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on November 27, challenged the arrest of her husband in Eden Housing Scheme scam. Subsequently, the court directed the NAB to submit a written reply to the petition.

State Minister for Revenue Hamad Azhar said that the tax department has revised the policy pertaining to clearance of vehicles, adding that no vehicle would be cleared without the authentic documents.

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