`Over 50,000 containers meant for NATO forces stolen in Pak`

Investigators claimed pilferage is being in connivance with FBR officers.

Islamabad: Pakistani investigators have
claimed that over 50,000 containers meant for US and NATO
forces in Afghanistan have been pilfered within Pakistan with
the alleged collusion of authorities.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case about the
pilfering of container trucks and investigators probing the
scam have claimed that over 50,000 containers were stolen with
the collusion of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and
National Logistics Cell (NLC), `The News` daily said quoting
unnamed sources.

The FBR and NLC are required to keep accurate entry and
exit records but they had not done so, the report said.

The sources claimed tax evasion on the goods in the
pilfered containers would amount to "trillion of rupees."

The report also alleged that a "trans-national racket
involving different governments" was involved in the scam.

It alleged that Afghan authorities had not entertained
Pakistan`s request for information on the number of containers
that had actually reached Afghanistan.

The investigators claimed the pilferage is being "in
connivance with FBR officials who, instead of taking
preventive measures, set up fact-finding committees to buy
time to confuse the real issues," the report said.

The investigators note a record rise in pilferage of 60
per cent last year, as compared to 36 per cent in 2009.

A report submitted to the Supreme Court said the most
conservative estimate puts the number of pilfered containers
at 7,922, though investigators believe the figure could be
more than 50,000 if accurate data was furnished by the FBR
regarding the 306,267 containers that landed at Karachi port
during January 2007-October 2010.

The investigation led by Federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib
Suddle has described the FBR`s data as "totally unreliable."

The NLC`s data "was also a total disappointment," said
the report submitted to the apex court.