Our Special Correspondent
Pakistan Customs has recovered a huge quantity of highly sensitive dual purpose chemical ‘Acetic Anhydride’ used in the preparation of narcotics and making of highly explosive devices.
According to details, during the discreet monitoring of the import data, a suspicious consignment comprising of the container(IX20) said to contain item having a vague description of ‘Summer Fluid’ shipped from Poland bearing the address of Peshawar based consignee was identified.
The Bill of Lading (BL) of the shipment also showed a non-existent PCT code and the address was very general. Owing to the suspicious declaration, the container was blocked on January 24, 2018, in the system of Customs R&D Section. Since no one turned up for clearance, physical examination of the consignment was carried out on January 31, in the presence of representatives of terminal operator and independent surveyors, which led to the recovery of huge quantity of dual-use precursor ‘Acetic Anhydride’ 15,520 liters stuffed in more than 700 plastic cans worth $1.5 million.
Chief Collector (Appraisement-South), Karachi Abdul Rashid Sheikh along with other senior officials of customs inspected the suspicious consignment. The officials have drawn the samples from the plastic cans in the presence of senior Customs officials and tested with the help of ‘First Defender Kit’ to verify the contents which confirmed that the detected item was ‘Acetic Anhydride.’
The Chief Collector also issued the instruction to apply modern information Technology tools for tracking container trail and 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 Policy Order-2016. Accordingly, the consignment has been seized under the law. The seized Acetic Anhydride is a highly sensitive dual-use chemical which is the main ingredient for preparing narcotics substances especially heroin and is also used in making highly explosive devices.
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 pilferage of dangerous contrabands. The consignment had been slipped from Poland with the description of ‘Summer Fluid’ which is used as the main ingredient for the manufacture of shampoos.
The MCC Port Qasim also lodged investigation into the case from all possible aspects to dig out details.