- Petrol smuggling costs Rs60 billion each year, report reveals.
- Incriminates politicians, govt officials in smuggling activities.
- “PSO vehicles being used to transport smuggled petrol.”
A report submitted to the Prime Minister’s House (PMO) revealed that terrorists are using revenue generated from petrol smuggling as a key source of financing.
The report, incriminating politicians and government officials revealed that 2.8 billion litres of petrol is smuggled annually to Pakistan from Iran.
The petrol smuggling costs Rs60 billion to Pakistan each year, it added. “A total of 995 petrol pumps across the country are involved in the illegal sale of Iranian petrol. Around 90 government officials and 29 politicians are involved in the smuggling of petrol.”
However, a startling revelation made by the report is that Pakistan State Oil’s (PSO) vehicles are involved in the transportation of Iranian petrol.
The report also addressed the issue of Hundi-Hawala (illegal money trade and smuggling) accentuating that 722 currency dealers are involved in the illegal forex activity.
In, Punjab 205 currency dealers — the highest among all the provinces — are involved in the illegal activity followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) with 183 dealers.
Meanwhile, Sindh, Balochistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have 179, 104 and 37 such dealers, respectively.
In Islamabad, 17 dealers are involved in the Hawala-hundi business.
FIA given ‘go-ahead’ for action against smuggling
The development comes as earlier this week, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar issued directives to implement strict measures to curb smuggling at border crossings.
The premier instructed the officials concerned to improve surveillance and establish a comprehensive monitoring mechanism at irregular border crossings to prevent smuggling in the country.
Also, the interim government on Friday, directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to exercise its authority and take necessary measures to curb the smuggling of sugar and US dollars in the country.
The FIA will tackle activities pertaining to the smuggling of sugar, fertilisers, petroleum products, US dollars and other foreign currencies.
The investigative agency will be able to exercise its authority and take necessary measures at all entry and exit points of foreign currencies.
Furthermore, FIA’s zonal directors have been instructed to report to the agency’s headquarters on a day-to-day basis via relevant channels.