KARACHI: A local court on Monday remanded two detained suspects in custody of the Customs department for interrogation in a case pertaining to alleged smuggling of the banned direct-to-home (DTH) equipment to illegally broadcast Indian channels through cable.
The Customs officials claimed to have arrested Mohammad Iqbal and Yasir Ali during a raid in Korangi area on Saturday. They, along with an absconding suspect, were booked in a case registered under Sections 2, 16, 156(2) and 178 of the Customs Act, 1969 punishable under clause 8, 9, 89 and 90 of Section 156(1) ibid read with Section 3(1) of Imports and Export Control Act, 1950.
On Monday, the investigating officer produced both the detained suspects before the Customs courts judge to seek their physical remand for interrogation.
The IO informed that an action was taken to stop the availability/flow of these illegal and smuggled DTH equipments in the local markets.
This was in compliance with the directives recently issued by the chief justice of Pakistan while hearing a suo motu case regarding availability and illegal sale of the DTH equipments in the open market and its use to broadcast Indian channels, transfer of the money charged against such services and its transfer abroad through illegal channels.
He further mentioned that a huge quantity of the smuggled illegal DTH equipment was recovered during an operation in a godown and a house located in Korangi, adding that the seized equipment included 1,851 satellite receivers, 7,387 LNBs, 80 dish and 1,360 miscellaneous accessories.
The seized equipment is worth Rs14.3 million, said the IO adding that it was being used to broadcast Indian channels on cable TV network and money generated against these services was transferred to India through illegal channels.
The IO further mentioned that efforts were being made to arrest other accused persons involved in the crime and investigation was still in progress.
He added that after completion the outcome of the investigation would be shared with the Federal Investigation Agency and the Pakistan Electronic Medial Regulatory Authority.
He added that a further course of action would be adopted after interrogation of the accused persons and the hawala operators and the relevant sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, and the Anti-Money Laundering/Foreign Exchange Regulation Act would be invoked.
He pleaded for physical remand of the detained suspects for interrogation.
The Customs court judge granted physical remand of the suspects in custody of the Customs department for five days and directed to produce them on the next date.
Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2018