3 years into losing Rs. 300 billion and Govt. still fails to take action

3 years into losing Rs. 300 billion and Govt. still fails to take action
Details of the 2015 to 2018 mega vehicle registration scam.

Recent reports state that Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has made progress in a hundred-billion rupee vehicle registration scam. Addressing the matter, ACE officials claimed:

We have found that a gang of Punjab Excise & Taxation Department officials and a few private persons were behind the scam. Seven thousand and thirteen vehicles were registered under fake auction vouchers. 

Details about the Scam

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According to reports, some officials at the Punjab Excise Department registered 7,013 vehicles in the name of an auction between 2015 and 2018. ACE got wind of the activity and started investigating the matter. Upon inquiry, ACE found out that the auction in the subject had never happened. 

It was concluded that the auction vouchers issued to all the vehicles were fake. For each car, the government could have generated at least Rs. 9 million through import duty and other fees. However, the government lost over Rs. 300 billion due to this mega vehicle registration scandal.

3 years into losing Rs. 300 billion and Govt. still fails to take action
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ACE’s Advancement into tackling the Scam

The media report stated that ACE has acquired the bank transactions data from the beneficiaries of the auction. Sources said that the data confirms money transfers worth millions of rupees. Indeed, the officials of the Excise and Taxation Department registered thousands of vehicles without any customs clearance. While they might have managed to make easy money out of it, the scam caused a loss of billions of rupees to the provincial exchequer.

Reports added that ACE has not revealed the identity of these Excise Department officials and the private persons involved in the vehicle registration scam. The establishment also has not reflected upon the actions the government will take against the criminals. 

It should be noted that this isn’t the first time news of government officials exploiting their power and playing with the rules has surfaced. There have been many occurrences of vehicle registration scams in Pakistan۔ Only time will tell whether this case of 7,013 fake vehicle registrations meets the same fate or reaches a final verdict.

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