Customs agent gets jail term, fine

Published On: August 21, 2017 08:24 AM NPT By: Republica

BUTWAL, August 21: Bhairahawa Customs Office has given customs agent Jagat Dahal, who was found inflicting huge loss on the office by preparing forged customs declaration form of imported goods, a jail sentence of a year.

The office has also decided to recover the loss amount from Dahal as well as slap him a fine equivalent to the loss.

Gopal Bhattarai, the spokesperson for the customs office, said that Dahal has been given jail term and fine as per the Section 57 and Sub-section 1 of Customs Act.
The office has claimed Rs 5.4 million from Dahal. Dahal can now appeal against the office’s decision by furnishing Rs 5.4 million as bail amount.

Dahal’s son, however, has claimed that his father is innocent and that he was being framed. Dahal, a retired employee of the office, had started working as a customs agent only recently. The Department of Customs (DoC) launched an investigation against Dahal after it arrested a customs officer and three other employees on a charge of allowing a truck carrying imported goods by forging customs declaration documents.

After taking written statement, the Butwal office of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) sent Custom Officer Man Bahadur Biswakarma, head assistant Subash Sharma, non-gazetted second class officer Atul Sharma and Binaya Joshi to the Department of Customs until the investigation is complete.

A probe team formed by the DoC on last Sunday under the leadership of its director Divya Pokharel is submitting its report on Monday. The team has already completed its investigation after holding meetings with custom agent, customs employees and local traders.  

“Investigation has showed that the customs declaration form has been misused. We will recommend needful action against all the accused so that such incidents do no repeat,” he added.

The license of customs agent Dahal has already been suspended for six months.
Bhairahawa Customs Office had released two trucks -- Na 6 Kha 5635 and Na 4 Kha 4126 -- last Thursday on the basis of Customs Declaration Form No. 56787 and 56797.

Of them, the truck with Na 4 Kha 4126 registration number was taken under control after customs officials found that goods in the truck were different from the ones mentioned in the declaration form. The customs office later found that the customs declaration form used for a truck with registration Na 4 Kha 4126 was forged.


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