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Customs teams to be provided police support to expedite operations against smuggling: IG Punjab

Customs teams to be provided police support to expedite operations against smuggling: IG Punjab

LAHORE: Inspector General Police Punjab (IGPP) Inam Ghani has said that joint operations of police and customs teams should be carried out to eradicate smuggling across the province and police support be provided to the custom teams on priority basis so that no stone is left unturned in eradicating anti-social elements involved in the heinous smuggling.

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting at the Central Police Office on the assistance of the police force in customs operations. The meeting was attended by Collector Basit Maqsood Abbasi, and Director Customs Intelligence and Investigations Asad Rizvi.

The police chief said that if the siege against big fish is tightened to curb smuggling, then the small fish will run away on their own. Therefore, joint operations should be carried out on the basis of information sharing against the culprits involved in the heinous business of smuggling so that the smugglers are caught and be taken behind the bars.

He directed the CCPO Lahore and Additional IG Special Branch to hold monthly meetings with the customs officers to put an end to smuggling and maintain close coordination on the cases and operations registered.

He further said that Additional IG Operations should write a letter to all DPOs to provide all possible police support to the customs teams during the operations so that the DPOs would take all possible steps under their supervision in this regard. He further said that a detailed report on the cases registered in the customs complaint across the province and the latest status of investigation on them should be presented in the next meeting.

The IG Punjab nominated AIG Operations at the provincial level and SSP Operations Lahore at the Lahore level, as the focal person for the Customs Department and asked the Collector Customs to keep coordination with Focal Persons wherever it needs police support in Lahore or Punjab.

During the meeting, Collector Customs Basit Maqsood Abbasi apprised the session about the resistance of the smugglers during the customs operations and other issues, while Asad Rizvi, Regional Director, Customs Intelligence, said that the Customs on the information of the Intelligence Branch, Operations are not very effective in the absence of police teams and often face stiff resistance from professional smugglers.

Upon which, The IG Punjab directed that joint operations of police and customs teams would tighten the noose around the smugglers and those who challenge the government’s writ should be dealt with severely. He further said that in order to eradicate this evil, full preparations should be made against the big crocodiles and operations should be carried out under a regular strategy so that the culprits who have harmed the national wealth through smuggling could be punished.

He said that if there was a need for police anywhere in the province to protect the interests of the state, there should be no delay in taking steps in this regard.