IO told to file charge sheet in stolen Bentley case

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A special customs, taxation and anti-smuggling court has directed the investigating officer to submit by September 12 a charge sheet against two detained suspects in a case pertaining to the alleged theft and smuggling of a luxury car, Bentley Mulsanne.

The Pakistan Customs had last week recovered from a house in Karachi’s Defence area a Bentley Mulsanne that was allegedly stolen from London and smuggled into Karachi. Subsequently, customs officials registered an FIR and arrested two suspects — Jamil Shafi, who claimed to be the bona fide owner of the vehicle, and Naveed Bilwani.Both the suspects currently in judicial custody have filed applications seeking post-arrest bail.When their bail pleas came up for hearing, the customs prosecutor stated that the IO has yet to file the charge sheet and that he would forward his arguments on the applications after the submission of the charge sheet.On the other hand, Shafi’s lawyer contended that his client was innocent and had falsely been implicated in the case.

He said the charges invoked against the applicant are not attracted in the case as the vehicle in question was imported after the fulfillment of all the legal formalities.The counsel maintained that the car was imported by the Embassy of Bulgaria for its ambassador, Aleksandar Borisov Parashkevov, and this fact was also mentioned in the goods declaration form’s importer column. He added a letter written to the Sindh Excise and Taxation Department for registration of the vehicle on December 26, 2019 also fully substantiated his client’s claim that the vehicle was imported by the envoy.

The counsel said Shafi was the bona fide purchaser of the vehicle after an agreement with Naveed Bilwani against a sum of Rs37,515,650. He, therefore, pleaded with the court to order his release on bail. The judge, however, accepted the prosecutor’s request and adjourned the hearing until September 12 with a direction for the investigating officer to submit the charge sheet.According to the content of the FIR, credible information was received from a national agency of a friendly country that a grey Bentley Mulsanne, V8 Automatic.

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