PESHAWAR: Officials at the Pak-Afghan border in Torkham on Monday foiled a bid of smuggling of foreign currency to Afghanistan.

The border enforcement personnel stopped a truck travelling from Pakistan to Afghanistan and recovered 500,000 Saudi riyals during checking. The amount is equal to 20.5 million Pakistani rupees.

The Customs officials said the driver of the truck had kept the money in the truck secretly and he was hoping for transferring it to Afghanistan. Upon checking, the money was recovered and the driver was arrested.

Further investigation into the case is underway. The truck has also been confiscated.

Transporters often complain about strict attitude of border officials and demand relaxations, but the border officials are of the view that strict measures are being taken to curb smuggling and other illegal practices. Without strict measures, it would be difficult to curb the activities of smugglers and other law violators.

Pakistan closed all the border crossings with Afghanistan, including Torkham border, in March due to the fears of spread of coronavirus. The borders were gradually reopened after four-month closure after successful talks between the two governments. However, some standard operating procedures (SOPs) were introduced and restrictions were made on the borders to keep out the threat of coronavirus. But these restrictions were also eased gradually.

On August 12, the government lifted the condition of change of drivers of vehicles transporting goods at Torkham border to further boost trade activities.

The transporters expressed happiness over relaxation of the condition. At a time when coronavirus was spreading rapidly in Pakistan, the government had imposed a condition of change of driver at the border as a precautionary measure. The drivers and transporters were facing difficulties due to this restriction.

The drivers and transporters hoped that the remaining issues at the border will also be resolved soon.

Earlier, Torkham border labour union demanded the Frontier Corps (FC), Customs, National Logistics Cell (NLC) and officials of other institutions deputed at Torkham border to make special concession with labourers and facilitate them so that they could earn livelihood with dignity. He also demanded the government to facilitate the labourers in finding work.

 

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