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Customs, motorway police combat smuggling

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Pakistan Customs and the Motorway Police have signed new protocols to check vehicles on the motorways amid the government’s increased focus on the anti-smuggling drive. The Standard Operating Procedures ensure the implementation of both Customs laws and the National Highways Safety Ordinance-2000 through a coordinated approach. Ayesha Wani signed the protocol on behalf of Pakistan Customs.

According to the protocols, operations on the motorway, including entry and exit points, will be carried out in coordination with the National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP) in light of the National Highways Safety Ordinance, 2000. All units of Pakistan Customs will enhance surveillance and ensure intelligence credibility to intercept only suspicious vehicles or arrest wanted persons without causing inconvenience to other road users on the motorways.

Read Caretaker PM orders crackdown on smuggling

Random checking at entry or exit points on motorways may be conducted in coordination with the motorway police to deter carriers. Credible information will be exchanged between focal persons in person, including the names and ranks of Pakistan Customs officers, with NHMP’s Focal Person(s) along with vehicle registration numbers.

SSPs and SPs of motorway police will serve as focal persons to coordinate with Pakistan Customs. No obstructions, including unauthorised barriers, can be placed on national highways and motorways without coordination with the area police. Pakistan Customs will not conduct any operations on the motorways without prior coordination with the police to ensure smooth traffic flow and road users’ safety. Deployment of Customs staff/vehicles may occur temporarily at toll plazas, rest areas, and weigh stations in collaboration with NHMP.

No permanent check posts or barriers of Pakistan Customs will be established on the motorway.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2024.

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