KPT expels disputed TCP sugar ships out of port | Pakistan Today

KPT expels disputed TCP sugar ships out of port

KARACHI: The ailing national exchequer must brace for paying a heavy price, as a lingering dispute between the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and Customs authorities faced a fresh setback over quality of imported Indian and Thai sugar.
One may aptly hold the state-run grain trader, TCP, accountable for burdening the flood-hit economy with heavy ship and port demurrages, as the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), after constant warnings, removed two of its disputed ships from Karachi Port on Friday evening.
The decision was taken by the port operator due to fears that the apparently long-lasting quarrel between TCP and Pakistan Customs might cause congestion at the country’s largest, and therefore, busiest seaport.
Custom authorities and spy agencies are probing media reports that suggest the corporation had imported ‘substandard’ sugar from arch-rivals India and Thailand in bags which are not inscribed with a trade mark and an expiry date.
According to sources at Karachi Port, the two TCP ships, M/v Unicorn Brave and M/v Unicorn I, were shifted from berths number 18 and 20 late on Friday. They said Unicorn I was anchored parallel to a Korean ship at berth number 23, while Unicorn Brave was tugged away to SRB berth.
Sources at Karachi Port told Pakistan Today that cargo handling at the two ships was suspended for the past three days, primarily because of TCP-Customs row and unavailability of transport.
Interestingly, the KPT shifting came on Friday evening when TCP booked at least three gang of Karachi Dock Labor Board for working at the ships, the sources said.
KPT data unveils that during the past 15 days, two vessels laden with 3,920 and 7,142 tons of TCP sugar had offloaded only 682 and 1,102 tons of cargo respectively.