NAB arrests betel leaf importer in embezzlement case

Salim Ahmed


National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore has arrested betel leaf importer, Rashid Shams for causing a loss of Rs 16.58 million to government exchequer by evading / mis-calculating customs duty liable on import of betel leaf in a Rs 2.6 billion customs duty corruption case.
While peering into case details, NAB Lahore is probing a mega corruption scam. In accordance with Pak-Sri Lanka Trade Agreement, betel leaf is being imported from Sri Lanka and India to Pakistan, whereas, by evasion and miss-calculating customs duty on betel leaf through the alleged connivance with customs officials, private importers and import firms managed to cause loss to national kitty worth Rs 2.6 billion, collectively.
In this case, NAB Lahore has already arrested 10 other accused earlier while accused Rashid Shams has been arrested from Lahore who kept importing betel leaf during 2008-12 through M/s Al-Shams Traders and managed to embezzle Rs 16.58 million by paying far less duty in a government designated bank as compared to the amounts shown on the hard copies of Goods Declaration (GDs).

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