Nagpur man arrested for evading Rs 1.81 crore duty on supari

Sep 13, 2017, 08:50 IST | Vijay Kumar Yadav

DRI officials have arrested a Nagpur-based businessman, who allegedly imported betel nuts from Indonesia on the pretext that it was raw material, causing a loss of Rs 1.81 crore to the government

Representation pic
Representation pic

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have recently arrested a businessman whom they certainly won't classify as a nutjob, as he is quite the opposite of it. He allegedly imported betel nuts from Indonesia on the pretext that it was raw material, causing a loss of '1.81 cr to the government. DRI officials have seized 105 metric tonnes of the betel nuts from a warehouse in Nagpur.

Betel nuts seized
According to sources in DRI, they learnt that one Syed Ahmed Shaikh, a resident of Kopar Khairane, Navi Mumbai, was evading duty on betel nuts from Nagpur. DRI sleuths recently raided Goel Warehouse in Nagpur and seized the 105 metric tons of betel nuts worth '1.68 crore.

Also read: Maharashtra collects Rs 5-cr fine from tax evading luxury car owners

The betel nut attracts 108% import duty if imported from certain countries. Since the betel nuts were imported from Indonesia, the accused caused a revenue loss of '1.81 crore, sources said.

Also read - Maharashtra: 33 vendors in dock for selling imported cigarettes

Modus operandi
A probe revealed that the accused imported betel nuts from Indonesia under the pretext of raw material and the same was then transported from Indonesia to Myanmar, Myanmar to Manipur, Manipur to Silchar, then Silchar to Guwahati, and then to the Nagpur warehouse in trucks. For this the accused used forged documents including bills of entries, fake lorry receipts, etc.

It is suspected that using the same modus operandi, the accused, with two accomplices who are absconding, has diverted over 100 million tonnes of betel nuts in the past few months, added the source. The accused also imported betel nuts from Sri Lanka.

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