KARACHI: A customs court on Monday directed the investigating officer to file a final charge sheet till Oct 12 in a case pertaining to the smuggling of a Bentley Mulsanne allegedly stolen from the United Kingdom and brought here by ‘misusing diplomatic impunity’.
The IO of the case requested Judge Muhammad Saad Qureshi to gave him more time to file the final charge sheet.
Last week, the court had granted post-arrest bail to the local buyer of the high-end car, Jameel Shafi, against a surety of Rs2 million. However, the court had dismissed bail plea of another held suspect, Naveed Bilwani.
Customs officials had recovered the luxury car from a Defence Housing Authority house and arrested the duo and booked them along with an absconding suspect, Navaid Yamin, in a case.
According to an interim investigation report, the held suspects had smuggled the vehicle evading taxes and duties worth approximately Rs300 million. They are also facing charges of violating “diplomatic impunity” and other Customs laws.
It said that a syndicate was involved in the import of vehicles at zero duty and taxes by abusing “diplomatic privileges and exemptions”. Suspect Shafi had purchased the seized Bentley for Rs37.5m, which was a fraction of the vehicle’s actual value, it added.
It said it was also being investigated as to how the stolen vehicle was exported to Pakistan through Belgium’s Antwerp port without it being noticed at the time of export from Belgium.
Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022