QUETTA: Customs officials have said efforts are under way to arrest a ‘group of smugglers’ involved in the attack and ransacking of the Customs Intelligence office located in Chaman Housing and claimed that most of the important record was saved from burning when a fire broke out last Sunday.

A senior official said the Customs Intelligence had seized a huge quantity of smuggled goods a few days back while conducting raids on some warehouses, where the smuggled goods were kept.

After the raid, the official said, the smugglers were using different tactics to get their smuggled goods released. They also had hurled threats at the customs officials, he said.

“The same people were involved in the attack on the custom intelligence office where the fire broke out,” he said. However, he said the smuggled goods, which had been seized by staff, were not burnt in the fire as they were kept in the safe warehouses of the Pakistan Customs in Quetta.

Officials claim efforts to arrest gang of ‘smugglers’ behind attack underway

Some sources said the armed men after overpowering the security personnel deployed at the gate barged into the Customs Intelligence office and after ransacking the office took away the CCTV camera equipment and recording with them before lobbing a patrol bomb inside a room of the office that destroyed “some records”.

However, a spokesman of Pakistan Cus­toms Quetta, in a statement issued here on Friday evening, denied burning of important records of the Customs Intelligence office. The official said: “Important records were kept in a safe place.”

He said all the important records were very much intact and computerized.

While explaining the incident, the spokesman said it occurred due to the explosion of “gas cylinders” being used for air-conditioning of vehicle. He also denied injuring or killing any member of the Customs staff during the attack.

“Efforts are under way to arrest and expose the elements involved in the attack on the Customs Intelligence office,” the spokesman said, adding that police were investigating the incident. However, he said, the Customs would continue its operation and raids against smugglers and would not compromise in this regard.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2022

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