News Analysis |
Customs Intelligence has recovered the 21 luxury vehicles worth 250 million rupees from the deserted building of Redco Textile Mill near Kallar Syedan area of Rawalpindi. The cars were parked in the compound of a textile mill owned by former Accountability Bureau chief Saif-ur-Rehman. Saif-ur-Rehman, who is the close aide of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, owns the deserted textile mill.
The customs officers have revealed that more than 40 luxury vehicles were parked in the textile mill building, however, on the tip-off of the expected raid, 20 vehicles were moved to an undisclosed location. DG Customs Intelligence Shaukat Ali ordered the operation and impounded the vehicles. Interestingly, all the vehicles taken into custody bear the number plates of the Qatar Embassy.
The ones responsible for the crime must pay the price for breaking the law and authorities must investigate this case to punish the accused according to the law of the land, regardless of their relationship with former rulers.
The Qatar Embassy in Islamabad has thus far failed to provide documentation of the import or export of the luxury vehicles, in spite of making claims that vehicles are the property of Qatar’s ruling family and were imported into the country legally and were used for the hunting purposes. Moreover, Saqar bin Mubarak, Qatari ambassador claimed that cars had been parked in multiple cities in the property of Saif-ur-Rehman and were stored in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi.
The Redco Textile Mill is already under the radar of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Speaking from Doha, Rehman claimed that the abandoned factory had been used for the storage of cars only for four or five years and no illegal act had been committed in this regard. He further claimed that the cars belonged to Qatar’s Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad, who used them for hunting purposes.
The 50 luxury vehicles were in fact imported to the country three years ago and PML-N government had waved off the import duty for 3-months, however, duties were never paid and cars remained in Pakistan and were in the use of prominent personalities. Among the 50 cars, one of the cars was recovered from Maryam Nawaz’s son Junaid Safdar and the driver of the vehicle leaked the information about the location of other cars.
The Qatari authorities and the manager of the warehouse have been unable to provide documentation of the vehicles. According to the customs department, the warehouse manager has been asked to provide the documents in the next three days and failure to do so would result in the registration of a criminal case. This case is another classic example of how rich and powerful break the law. The politicians have established, completely different rules to serve the cronies and close circle of friends.
The law of the country is not applicable to certain powerful segments of the society, who evade the law and end up making the mockery of the system. The incumbent government is facing the acute shortage of revenue. The high duties on luxury vehicles are one of the ploys to increase the revenue and control the pressure on foreign exchange, as Pakistan’s import bill has been consistently exceeding the export bill, resulting in the huge trade deficit.
The government must introduce and implement the strong policies to penalize the evaders. The ones responsible for the crime must pay the price for breaking the law and authorities must investigate this case to punish the accused according to the law of the land, regardless of their relationship with former rulers.