KARACHI: The Collectorate of Customs Adjudication-I has fixed March 19 for the next hearing of tax evasion case linked with M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), its clearing agent M/s Eastern Freighter Services and its contractor M/s Huawei Technologies in its alleged involvement in mis-declaration/concealment in import of values and quantity in goods declaration (GD).
It is pertinent to mention here that the authorities concerned of the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation-FBR Karachi in its contravention report stated that the M/s PTCL in compliance of clearing agent M/s Eastern Freighter Services and its local contractor M/s Huawei Technologies was allegedly involved in tax evasion on importing telecommunication equipment.
It may be mentioned here that the departmental representatives of M/s PTCL, its contractor and Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation submitted their para-wise replies and counter comments before the Collector of Customs Adjudication-I Dr Farid Iqbal Qureshi during the last hearing.
It may be worth mentioning here that it was the fourth case of tax evasion registered against the M/s PTCL, its clearing agent M/s Eastern Freighter Services and its contractor M/s Huawei Technologies by the customs authorities.
Although, the customs authorities have already registered three cases against M/s PTCL, its contractor and its clearing agent in its alleged involvement in tax evasion of billions of rupees on importation of telecommunication equipment.
It may be further mentioned here that those three cases have already been decided in the Collectorates of Customs Adjudication-I and II during last months or so.
Two cases have been decided by the Collectorate of Customs Adjudication-I while one case was decided by the Collector of Customs Adjudication-II against the M/s PTCL.
The first case against M/s PTCL was decided by then Collector of Customs Adjudication-I Syed Shahanshah Hasnain in which total valued amount of Rs 1.009 billion and evaded leviable duty/taxes amounting Rs 441.6 million in share of customs duty of Rs 169.7 million, Rs 181.2 million in share of sales tax; Rs 10.09 million in share of SED and Rs 80.6 million in share of withholding tax (WHT).
In the final judgement made by Collector Syed Shahanshah Hasnain of the Customs Adjudication-I stated that “the respondents shall deposit the aforesaid recoverable amount of duty and taxes in which a personal penalty of Rs 100million upon M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) and a personal penalty of Rs 10million has imposed on M/s Huawei Technologies, which shall be deposited by them in national exchequer”.
“I also hereby to impose a personnel penalty of Rs5million on clearing agent, i.e. M/s Eastern Freighter, who acted in connivance and collusion with M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Limited in order to deprive the government by its legitimate revenue.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the case was instituted by the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence, Regional Office on November 27, 2013.
The second Order-in Original (ONO) in alleged involvement in tax evasion i.e. customs duty and other taxes to the tune of Rs 116.2 million on imported telecommunication equipment through concealment of actual CFR Value in Goods Declaration (GDs) and invoice was issued by the Collectorate of Customs Adjudication-I in the year-2014.
The Collector of the Collectorate of Customs Adjudication-I was also imposed a penalty of Rs1million each on M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) and M/s Huawei Technologies Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd while a penalty of Rs 0.2 million has also imposed on M/s Eastern Freighter Service under Clause 14 of the Section 156(I) of the Customs Act, 1969.
As per the details, the case was constituted by the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation-FBR, Karachi on March 28, 2014 and after three hearings conducted by the Collector of Customs Adjudication-I on April 10, 2014, April 25, 2014 and August 21, 2014, the ONO was issued to those respondents.
The third ONO against M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL), its contractor M/s Huawei Technologies and its clearing agents M/s Eastern Freighter in their alleged involvement in mis-declaration/concealment of import values and quantity of telecommunication equipments in Goods Declaration (GDs) was issued in the same year of 2014.
In which, the Directorate of Customs I&I-FBR in its contravention report stated that the M/s PTCL and its contractor were deliberately involved in evading leviable Customs Duty (CD) and other taxes in clearance of telecommunication equipment.
In the final judgement made by the Collector of the Customs (Adjudication-I) stated that “the petitioners shall deposit the aforesaid mentioned recoverable amount of duty and taxes along with penalty imposed on M/s Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) and M/s Huawei Technologies.