• May 20, 2024

Pakistan Tobacco Firm Protests ‘Illegal’ Raid

 Pakistan Tobacco Firm Protests ‘Illegal’ Raid
Photo: sezerozger

Pakistan’s Walton Tobacco Co. has called on the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government to reopen the company’s offices, alleging that the company has been illegally sealed before Eid-ul-Fiter, the Muslims’ largest religious festival, reports Business Recorder. The closure has resulted in sudden unemployment for more than 400 employees.

“We urge the authorities to immediately open the company and restore livelihoods of hundreds of workers,” said Arif Zia, spokesperson for the Walton Tobacco Co.

“We are doing business and paying taxes for the last 18 years,” said Zia, adding that the company is the highest taxpayer in Kashmir. The company stated that it had been illegally raided, products had been seized, and they were threatened with serious consequences by the authorities.

According to the manufacturer, authorities in Azad Jammu and Kashmir did not issue any “show cause” notices to the company or conduct income tax audits before suddenly sealing all the offices.

“We will be forced to relocate businesses elsewhere if this trend continues,” the tobacco company said, noting that the government is conducting enforcement action as a show and that law enforcement has not taken any action against illegal cigarette sales.

Law enforcement seized the company’s trucks during transportation rather than at excise check posts; the company is allegedly missing 200 trucks.