Peshawar: Police, customs officials convicted in graft case
PESHAWAR, Feb 23: An accountability court here on Wednesday convicted four police and customs officials including a district police officer (DPO) charged with receiving bribe from a notorious smuggler and sentenced them to seven years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs2 million each.
The court presided over by Afsar Shah observed that the prosecution had proved its case against the four officials — the Dera Ismail Khan DPO, Dilawar Bangash, a superintendent of customs, Shahnawaz Khan, a police inspector, Munawar Khan and a customs inspector Rahmat Shah.
The National Accountability Bureau (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) alleged that on May 24, 2004, Dilawar Bangash serving as superintendent of police at CID (Crimes Investigation Department), along with inspector Munawar Khan had recovered huge quantity of smuggled cloth and arrested a notorious smuggler Muhammad Tahir alias Malangae and his 11 companions after an encounter. During that encounter, a smuggler named Nisar Khan was also killed.
NAB alleged that later Dilawar Bangash demanded and received Rs2 million from the associates of the said smuggler for showing less quantity of confiscated cloth and accordingly tampered the police record including the recovery memo, seizure memo, etc.
The two customs officials had also connived with the police officers. At the time of occurrence, inspector Rahmat Shah was in charge of customs warehouse, whereas supervisor Shahnawaz Khan was custodian of the facility.
Senior prosecutor of NAB, Lajbar Khan, argued that the raiding police team had seized 267,000 yards of cloth from the smugglers but after receiving bribe from them they showed the recovered cloth as 134,000 yards.
He added that the two police officials in connivance with the customs officials collectively concealed around 133,000 yards of the foreign cloth worth Rs4.75 million, beside duty/taxed to the tune of Rs2.488 million. He added that they caused a loss of Rs7.239 million to the national exchequer.
The said smuggler, Malangae, as well as his companion Bukht Sher had appeared in the case and deposed against the accused persons.
The accused were arrested in March 2005. Later, they were released on bail. Following pronouncement of the verdict by the accountability court, the convicts were taken into custody.
The defendants denied the charges stating that as they had arrested Malangae who was a member of an influential syndicate of smugglers, therefore, they were victimised.