The Indore region customs and central excise department has sent three notices to Shivam Marketing partner Gaurav Kushwaha and others accused of evading customs duty, fabricating invoices and diverting container to avoid penal action by directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI).
At stake is the involvement of the IndusInd Bank’s industry house branch in Indore, which admitted before the DRI that the bank adjusted US$ 3,84,547 wrongly while making advance remittances for imports to the company.
Notices sent to Shivam Marketing partner in two separate cases
Indore region principal commissioner SL Meena, who is the adjudicating authority, has sent notices to the accused in two separate cases. The first case pertains to mis-declaring glass chatons as glass beads, which were imported from China last year. The second case pertains to diverting the container to Moradabad, which was to be downloaded at the inland container depot (ICD) in Kheda in neighbouring Dhar district.
The adjudication process started a month back after the DRI, which intercepted Shivam Marketing containers at Kheda last year, submitted a detailed report to the Indore customs and central excise commissionerate mentioning proofs of fraudulent practices adopted by the accused and statements of IndusInd Bank officials.
“Kushwaha has replied to our notices through his counsel Ramesh Bhagwat, saying that he did no wrong but he has not appeared before the adjudicating authority so far,” a customs official, who did not wish to be named, said.
Bhagwat declined to comment on the matter when contacted and Kushwaha too did not respond to HT phone calls. The Central Bank, Janki Nagar branch and IndusInd Bank’s industry house branch, were the company’s bankers.
Kushwaha admitted that glass chatons were mis-declared as glass beads
The report states that Kushwaha admitted that glass chatons were mis-declared as glass beads as glass beads have a lower value. He said he adopted a similar tactic for clearing four consignments in 2014, but was ready to “deposit differential customs duty.”
He further admitted that though some of the goods imported from China were in Shiva Marketing’s name but they were not ordered by the company. Some financial transactions between him and the Chinese suppliers took place through hawala operators, he said.
On physical examination, the value of glass chatons and plastic resins were found to be worth Rs 2.07 crore. It was also found that the description of goods mentioned in bill of entry did not match with the corresponding bill of lading as required under Section 46(2) of Customs Act, 1962.
On scrutiny of IndusInd Bank documents, the DRI found that the bank made advance remittances for imports worth US$ 45,74,070.80 between December 2012 and May 2014. The bank adjusted US$ 8,04,520 on the basis of bills of entry submitted by Shivam Marketing against the total advance remittances.
“Of the adjusted bills of entry value of US$ 8,04,520, the amount of US$ 3,84,547 was adjusted wrongly as dates of bills of entry were found prior to dates of advance remittances and dates of proforma voices.
“This was admitted by bank’s senior manager Mrigank Savant and assistant vice-president Madhuresh Vijayvargiya in their statements to DRI. They later raised suspicious transaction report against M/S Shivam Marketing,” DRI additional director general (Mumbai) M Ajit Kumar stated in the investigation report dated December 16, 2015, which was later sent to the Indore commissionerate.
In April 2015, the DRI received information that Shivam Marketing diverted a container containing glass chatons to the Moradabad ICD, which was originally destined for the Kheda ICD.
“This was done to evade action as the DRI was conducting investigations in Kheda then,” the DRI report said.
IndusInd Bank said it has lent full support to authorities which are investigating the case. “We have zero intolerance for unethical behaviour. We believe in following high standards while dealing with customers and stake holders,” the bank said in a statement mailed to HT.
The case so far
A month back, DRI submitted a report mentioning proofs of fraudulent practices by the accused and statements of IndusInd Bank officials
The report states that Kushwaha admitted that glass chatons were mis-declared as glass beads as glass beads have a lower value.
The value of glass chatons and plastic resins were found to be worth Rs 2.07 crore.
The description of goods mentioned in bill of entry did not match with the corresponding bill of lading as required under Section 46(2) of Customs Act, 1962.
DRI found that The bank adjusted US$ 8,04,520 on the basis of bills of entry submitted by Shivam Marketing against the total advance remittances