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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Nagpur Customs book three people for smuggling 82930 kg onions to UAE

Nagpur Customs book three people for smuggling 82,930 kg onions to UAE

Updated on: 16 February,2024 10:22 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma | diwakar.sharma@mid-day.com

Nagpur Customs booked three people including the owners of two export-import firms who were allegedly involved in smuggling of 82,930 kg onions to UAE

Nagpur Customs book three people for smuggling 82,930 kg onions to UAE

The seized consignment. Pic/ sources

A team of officials from Nagpur Customs in Maharashtra has booked three people including the owners of two export-import firms and one customs broker who were allegedly involved in smuggling of 82,930 kg onions to United Arab Emirates (UAE), the officials said.


The onion, worth Rs. 50 lakh Indian market, were concealed in refrigerated containers under the guise of tomatoes. The containers were examined at Nhava Sheva and seized by SIIB, Nagpur, they said.


"The Customs Department has seized a large consignment of onions worth approx 120 lakh and a case of smuggling of onion was registered on February 15," an official said.


No arrests have been made so far, he said.

A senior customs official told mid-day that more names are likely to come up in the case as the officials are conducting investigations against a third exporter. 

Based on the specific intelligence which was developed further by Nagpur Customs Commissionerate an attempt of illegal export of 82.93 MT of onion was prevented on February 15, he said.

“Intelligence was gathered against two exporters - Shree Sodev Impex, Navi Mumbai and AWM Trading Co, Nasik - who had cleared two refrigerated containers each from Nasik. The exporters had declared goods as tomatoes and were destined to UAE,” a Customs officer said.

“Action has also been taken against a broker. Also, there is a third exporter against whom we are investigating now,” the officer told mid-day.

“On specific intelligence, these containers were kept on hold at Mumbai by the Officers of SIIB Nagpur. On detailed examination of these four containers it was found that in the 40 feet container each, the first four or five feet were tomatoes, packed in boxes, but the rest of the container was found to contain onions which were either in 20 kg sack or in the boxes marked as tomatoes,” he told mid-day. 

“Total 82,930 kgs of onions were found in the four containers. This action was taken following the directions of the Chief Commissioner of Customs, Nagpur Zone, K.C. Johny and under the guidance of Commissioner of Customs, Sanjay Kumar and Additional Commissioner of Customs, Peeyoush Bhati, Officers of Special Investigation and Intelligence Branch (SIIB) of Nagpur Customs led by their Assistant Commissioner Anjum Tadvi developed credible intelligence that some exporters were attempting to export onion which has been banned by the Government of India,” said the officer.

A team of Customs officers comprising of Manish Pandharpurkar, Shalik Nimje, Saurabh Srivastav, Sudhakar Barapatre, Shubham Panthi and Dushyant Patle conducted several searches at the premises of the exporters and customs brokers involved in the smuggling racket across Mumbai and Nashik.

Examination of the containers in which the said goods were being smuggled exposed the smuggling of onions under the guise of tomatoes. Further investigations are under progress.

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