FAISALABAD, June 5: Police claimed on Saturday to have taken four Excise and Taxation Department officials into custody for their alleged involvement in corruption, and sealed the motor branch.

The officials had allegedly been issuing registration books of the lifted and smuggled vehicles to people.

A joint team of the district and Lahore police raided the department's office and arrested Inspector Javed Iqbal, motor registration clerks - Omar Saleem and Muhammad Yousaf - and peon Muhammad Ashfaq.

None of the visitors and officials was allowed to enter the office without body search by the policemen deployed in and around the main office, especially outside the rooms of the officials.

The police team also searched for the record and examined the registration books of vehicles. None of the clerks and officials was allowed to move freely.

A source told this correspondent that the raid was conducted by the police after receiving some vital information about the involvement of local officials in issuing fake registration books.

They said an organized gang was operating in the province under the nose of the district administration, especially in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Multan.

He claimed that an excise and taxation officer was also picked up by the police, but he was released on personal guarantee by a senior police officer.

When contacted, the Civil Lines police station moharrar denied any arrest or registration of case against any employee of the department. He, however, admitted that some officials of the department had been taken into custody by an investigation team, headed by SDPO Mushtaq Ahmad.

Meanwhile, Excise and Taxation Director Shaukat Ali Chaudhry has reportedly suspended from service the four employees and ordered a departmental inquiry against them.

FLOWER EXPORT: Renowned horticulturists have claimed that the cut flower export can play a significant role in strengthening the country's economy.

Speaking to participants in a seminar on "Cut flower as industry and its export potential" at the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute on Saturday, he also shed light on the technological aspects of cut flower cultivation.

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