GILGIT: The National Accountability Bureau, Gilgit-Baltistan chapter, has prepared a detailed report to initiate investigations into alleged corruption of billions of rupees committed by Pakistan Custom officials at the Sost dry port.

Sources said that Rs2.8 billion were collected as customs duties during 2018, and Rs6.7 billion in 2019, which was the highest revenue collection in the history of Sost dry port.

They said the difference of Rs3.9 billion in revenue collection in the two years prompted the NAB investigation.

The custom officials deployed at the dry port during 2018 were accused of embezzling billions of rupees, the sources said, adding the NAB officials had submitted the report to their headquarters for approval of an investigation.

The sources said the customs officials committed large-scale mis-declarations on description and value of imported goods from China. They said the NAB had also details of smuggling of banned items from China into Pakistan through Khunjerab Pass during 2018.

BORDER REOPENING OPPOSED: The Hunza district administration has opposed reopening of the Pak-China border over coronavirus threat.

According to a letter sent by assistant Commissioner, Gojal subdivision, Mohammad Zulqarnain Khan to the district health officer, due to massive spread of coronavirus in countries bordering China, transmission of the deadly virus through the border to Pakistan could not be ruled out.

The letter said being gateway of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the region was facing coronavirus threat if the Khunjerab Pass was reopened to trade activities from April this year.

The letter warned that if the border was opened without safety and precautionary measures, it would not only become a cause of spreading the deadly virus but would also affect the tourism sector badly.

The assistant commissioner said a screening camp should be set up at the Khunjerab Pass if it was reopened to trade activities.

He asked the district health officer to contact the provincial and federal health ministries in that regard.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2020

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