Published On: Thu, Feb 19th, 2015

Customs officials under DRI scanner for ‘illegal clearance’

Mumbai: Following the seizure of imported cigarettes worth Rs 5 crore from the inland container depot at Bhusawal in Jalgoan district of Maharashtra recently, some Customs officials have come under the scanner of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

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“We are investigating all the angles and if the Customs officials are found involved in illegal clearance of the goods, action will be initiated against them,” a senior DRI official said today.

The DRI had seized six containers at the Bhusawal depot, which carried cigarettes and other goods like chocolates cleared by the Customs.

The agency had later arrested the importer Satpal Singh in this connection. “Singh has admitted to have imported 162 containers since 2012 containing various goods like auto spare parts, consumer goods. All this stuff was grossly undervalued and had been cleared at Bhusawal,” another DRI official said.

The officials said that they also recovered gutka and small cylinders containing R22 gas from the containers imported by Singh. The Indonesian cigarettes, also called as clove cigarettes, named – ‘Gudang Garam’ and ‘Dajarum Black’ are in great demand in the country.

Duty on these cigarettes is very high. According to sources, last year the duty evasion on the imported cigarettes was of approximately Rs 100 crore (at Bhusawal). The agency had seized cigarettes worth Rs 1.5 crore last month and worth Rs 7.5 crore in December last year.

PTI

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