Customs inch closer to infiltrating cartel | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Customs inch closer to infiltrating cartel

In what could prove to be a big break for the Mumbai Customs authorities, a key city-based operator having links with the red sanders smuggling cartel has been arrested.

mumbai Updated: Oct 19, 2010 01:45 IST
Manish Pachouly

In what could prove to be a big break for the Mumbai Customs authorities, a key city-based operator having links with the red sanders smuggling cartel has been arrested.

The arrest has for the first time brought authorities closer to smugglers of the endangered species.

The Nhava Sheva Customs recently arrested Deepak Jare, who is the main operator for one Mustafa, a South India-based red sanders smuggler. Jare, who is remanded to judicial custody till October 21, arranged for smuggling red sanders sent by road from South India to foreign countries.

Jare was arrested for smuggling about 10,000 kg of red sanders, valued at Rs 1 crore. The Customs authorities, however, are yet to seize the shipment as Jare had shipped it to Dubai. The container has now been called back.

According to a Customs official, Jare went to an exporter and requested him to help him export 20,000 kg wheat flour to Dubai. The exporter, unaware of Jare’s intentions, agreed to do the needful.

In September, the exporter loaded the wheat flour in a container at a container freight station (CFS) near Nhava Sheva under supervision of Customs officials there. The container was sealed after being loaded.

The exporter dispatched the container with another one, which belonged to him, along with a Customs house agent (CHA) on two trailers. “At Panvel, on way to the Nhava Sheva port, the driver of the trailer, which was carrying the wheat flour container, told the CHA that the vehicle had developed some problem and would take time to get repaired,” said the Customs official, adding that the driver was hired by Jare.

The CHA, who had to take the other container urgently, left. At this juncture, Jare and his men removed the wheat flour and replaced it with red sander logs. They even resealed the container.

As Customs officials got suspicious, they arrested Jare when he came to Nhava Sheva port to collect some documents after. During interrogation, Jare revealed that he and his Mumbai-based accomplice one Dawood alias Abdulla were working for Mustafa.