The sleuths of Patna regional unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have seized 145 pieces of dies and fixtures imported by Tata Motors from Japan and South Korea, allegedly on the charges of violating the terms and conditions of Exports Promotion of Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme, as well as customs duty evasion to the tune of Rs. 22 crore.
The DRI sleuths said, though the machines were imported by Tata Motors under EPCG scheme at a concessional rate, they were illegally transferred to Caparo Engineering Private Limited, and installed at its premises in Jamshedpur.
Dies and fixtures are used in moulding and casting automobile parts. The value of the machinery along with other equipment seized with it, has been pegged at Rs. 87 crore.
Incidentally, Caparo Engineering is a subsidiary of Caparo Group founded by India-born British industrialist Lord Swaraj Paul. It provides its metal stamping and forging expertise to several big automobile companies here.
“We have issued show cause notices to Tata Motors and Caparo on September 29 to reply within 30 days as to why the seized equipment should not be confiscated under the Customs Act, and fines and penalties should not be imposed,” said a DRI source.
Sources also informed, that several top-level Tata Motors executives were called to DRI Patna unit - which oversees Bihar and Jharkhand - over the last few days and interrogated regarding the violations. The decision to act against the erring companies was taken after thorough investigation and deliberation over all the aspects of the case.
When contacted, DRI’s Patna-based assistant director Vidyut Vikash confirmed the seizure and issuance of show cause notices to both the automobile companies.