A special CBI court sentenced three Customs officials and three exporters to five years' rigorous imprisonment in a Rs. 1.7-crore excise duty remittance case registered 14 years ago.
Special CBI judge Hemant Gopal held the six accused guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating. The Customs officers convicted are AK Kaul and BR Ahuja, both superintendents, and MP Singh, an inspector, while the exporters are Gurkirpal Singh, Satvir Singh and Ashok Kumar.
According to the chargesheet, the officials were hand in glove with the exporters as they reimbursed excise duty on the basis of forged documents.
The fraud was conducted in 1999 and the CBI registered an FIR in 2002.
Between 1999 and 2000, the six hatched a conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 1.77 crore to the national exchequer. The exporters floated a firm, Meghna Impax, and claimed excise duty remittance by showing papers of the export of timing shafts for Mercedes trucks, whereas they were exporting crank shafts. They showed an export of 33 such consignments.
As per rules at that time, the government would compensate the price difference between the local and international markets.
However, the accused forged their remittance claims, which the Customs officials passed. The entitlement for timing shafts was 22%, while that for the crank shaft was much lower.