Karachi

Customs foil ‘donkey hides’ smuggling bid in Karachi

KARACHI: On indication of seven suspects arrested for smuggling donkey hides, Customs officials recovered 350 more skins in another raid at a godown mounting the number of seized hides to over 5000 allegedly worth Rs. 118.4 million in international market, ARY News reported.

The raid was conducted at a warehouse in Maripur area of the city.

Earlier, the police raided a godown at Gulistan-e-Johar by recovering as many as 4,736 hides from the possession of a gang of smugglers comprising Chinese and Pakistani nationals.

According to police’s account, the donkey hides were intended to be smuggled to China by a gang of smugglers. A Chinese national, Tu Zhong Xiao, allegedly supervises the group operations.

Moreover, the police confirmed that the raid was conducted on a tip-off at a godown in Gulistan-e-Jauhar and recovered huge stock of hides.

Briefing the media, police officials said that 592 sacks, each containing eight donkey hides, recovered during the raid while each hide was estimated to be worth Rs. 25,000 in international market.

The officers further apprised that a woman among four key members of the gang was arrested.

The suspects were identified as Afshan w/o Ehtesham Ahmed Ali, Tu Zhong Xiao, Ehtesham Ahmed Ali s/o Shamim Ahmed Zaidi and Muhammad Daniyal s/o Shakil Khan.

However, police have been conducting raids to arrest other accused, identified as Muzzafar Abidi, Farooq Memon, Muzzafar and Rafi, who were reportedly at large.

Besides the four arrested members of the gang accused Muhammad Juman s/o Umeed Ali, a driver who carried hides from cargo offices to godown, helper Muhammad Faisal s/o Muhammad Ibrahim and loader Zeeshan s/o Patras were also taken into police custody, from the spot, on charge of assisting the alleged criminals.

The officials said donkey hides are in high demand in China and as it is used for production of gelatin as well as in preparation of a medicine “Ejiao” believed to be effective in treatment of certain blood diseases.

The demand of donkey hides in China spurred criminal elements in Pakistan to take advantage by smuggling the hides causing hefty loss to national exchequer.

Furthermore, the officials did not deny of any possibility that meat of donkey slaughtered to acquire their skin may be sold to local population.

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