Pakistani authorities foil attempt to smuggle artifacts to Japan_World_Asia Pacific Daily

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Pakistani authorities foil attempt to smuggle artifacts to Japan

World2017-08-13

By APD Writer Muhammad Sohail ISLAMABAD, Aug. 12 (APD) - Pakistani authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle centuries-old and gold-plated statues of Buddha to Japan, officials said on Saturday. The Air Freight Unit (AFU) of Pakistan Customs at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in capital Islamabad foiled the attempt to smuggle. Deputy Collector of Customs, Shahid Jan, said officials at a dry port would be asked to explain why they sent the consignment containing the contraband items to Islamabad for export. An investigation has been launched into the affairs of Customs officials at a dry port, who sent the consignment to the airport “Customs officials will be booked if found guilty,” said Jan. Jan said the seizure was made in the light of a tip received that a consignment bound for Japan contained suspicious items. The Customs personnel found the invaluable artifacts when they re-examined the consignment, said the official. The directorate-general of Archaeology and Museums, Islamabad, confirmed that six of the 16 items recovered were indeed centuries-old artifacts of Gandhara civilization. According to Pakistani law, the export of such items is banned under Section 24(2) of Section 35 of the Antiquities Act, 1975. Smugglers now are increasingly using fresh routes, taking the artifacts to Dubai, which is a free port. From there the items were sent to their final destinations, he added. “The value of statues of Buddha can’t be estimated with much accuracy because these are not available in the market,” Jan said. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

By APD Writer Muhammad Sohail

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 12 (APD) - Pakistani authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle centuries-old and gold-plated statues of Buddha to Japan, officials said on Saturday.

The Air Freight Unit (AFU) of Pakistan Customs at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in capital Islamabad foiled the attempt to smuggle.

Deputy Collector of Customs, Shahid Jan, said officials at a dry port would be asked to explain why they sent the consignment containing the contraband items to Islamabad for export.

An investigation has been launched into the affairs of Customs officials at a dry port, who sent the consignment to the airport “Customs officials will be booked if found guilty,” said Jan.

Jan said the seizure was made in the light of a tip received that a consignment bound for Japan contained suspicious items.

The Customs personnel found the invaluable artifacts when they re-examined the consignment, said the official.

The directorate-general of Archaeology and Museums, Islamabad, confirmed that six of the 16 items recovered were indeed centuries-old artifacts of Gandhara civilization.

According to Pakistani law, the export of such items is banned under Section 24(2) of Section 35 of the Antiquities Act, 1975.

Smugglers now are increasingly using fresh routes, taking the artifacts to Dubai, which is a free port. From there the items were sent to their final destinations, he added.

“The value of statues of Buddha can’t be estimated with much accuracy because these are not available in the market,” Jan said.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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