DRI seizes cigarettes at Nhava Sheva Port
Mumbai: Based on specific intelligence, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) identified a container suspected of carrying cigarettes, at Nhava Sheva Port, and seized a total of 1.2 crore sticks of foreign origin cigarettes having an estimated market value of about Rs. 24 crore.
A total of 1.07 Crore sticks of foreign-origin cigarettes of Esse, Dunhill, Mond and Gudang Garam brands were recovered from the imported container. The container was supposed to be trans-shipped to Arshiya Free Trade Warehousing Zone for further clearance.
In a follow-up operation, another stash of 13 lakh Cigarettes of foreign origin of various brands like Esse lights, Mond which were smuggled earlier by the same syndicate, were seized from another godown.
Five persons including the importer have been arrested to date.
Offering details, the DRI stated that a discrete vigil was kept on the movement of the said container by the officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. It was found that, after the container left the port, instead of reaching its destination, the same was diverted to a private godown while it was en route to Arshiya Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FTWZ).
Officers monitoring the movement of the said container immediately sensed the suspicious activities and intercepted the container at the godown.
The entire 40 feet container was found to be stuffed with foreign-origin cigarettes which are banned for import into India due to their non-compliance with Indian standards. The syndicate had planned to smuggle those cigarettes by way of removing them from the container and replacing the same with goods declared in import documents to hoodwink Custom Authorities. The godown was already stocked with the declared goods which were supposed to be stuffed in the container after removing the cigarettes before the container was taken into Arshiya FTWZ.
A Ministry of Finance spokesperson said today that the DRI has been constantly engaged in busting such designs of smuggling syndicates smuggling contrabands and misusing Special Economic Zone and FTWZ schemes, and added that further investigation is in progress.
– global bihari bureau