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Nangarhar traders boycott customs clearance

Nangarhar traders boycott customs clearance

Sep 13, 2017 - 23:24

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Traders in eastern Nangarhar province have boycotted customs clearance of their goods to record their protest against increasing incidents of armed robberies.

The traders said their boycott would continue until their demands were met. They said several traders were deprived of huge sums of money by masked armed robbers, but no one came to their aid.

The traders blocked the gates of the provincial Customs Department by placing big containers in front of them.

Consultative board head at the Nangarhar chapter of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Dr. Mukhlis Ahmad, said several traders had been looted on their way to the customs office during the past few months.

He said recently three traders were robbed in the past week on the main road between Eid Gah mosqueinfo-icon and the military post in broad daylight.

“One of them was deprived of 1.7 million afghanis, another 700,000 afghanis and the third one was deprived of 4.5 million afghanis yesterday.”

Dr. Mukhlis said insecurity had reached the peak in Nangarhar and the situation could force traders into shifting their businesses elsewhere.

He said traders boycotted interaction with the Customs Department as the only way to get their voices heard after their complaints fell on deaf ears.

The trader representative said traders had been promised a few months back that they would submit customs charges in bank, but this service was yet to be launched.

Haji Tawhid Walizada, the trader who was robbed of 4.5 million afghanis yesterday, demanded of the government to find the robbers and punish them.

“Masked gunmen in three cars blocked my driveway near the Eidgah mosque and took away the money. Their cars had tinted glasses and their number plats were covered with mud,” he recalled.

Deputy head of the commission agents union, Mohammad Anwar Safi, said so far 15 million afghanis had been looted from traders during the past few months, but security organs were yet to take any measures.

But Nangarhar Customs director Ilhamuddin Mazhar said the bank account system had been activated but still traders visited the department to submit customs charges.

“The problem is that traders have deposited their money with moneychangers and they don’t like withdrawing money from the moneychangers.”

He said if traders deposited their money in bank, their money would become secure and they would easily pay taxes.

The governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, said a joint meeting of traders and customs officials had been convened to resolve the issue.

He said security officials in areas where robberies took place would be replaced with efficient officers.



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