Customs officials at the Nhava Sheva port arrested one Anand Kursija, who tried to outsmart authorities by declaring the rice he was smuggling to Dubai as animal food.
A silly mistake by Kursija landed him in the clutches of the customs last week, but he was later released on bail. Kursija had not changed the gunny bags imprints, which said rice and mentioned the value.
Suspecting foul play, customs officials opened the containers, which Khursija had declared contained dal (pulses) husk.
On opening the containers, officials found 43,000 kg of kolam and parboiled rice inside the gunny bags.
The rice was being smuggled to Dubai as export of rice, except for basmati rice, is banned. Though the total value of the seized rice is Rs 15 lakh in India, the same goes up to Rs 75 lakh in Dubai.
According to a customs officer, who did not wish to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media, rice is smuggled to Dubai as the local quality has high demand among Indians staying there.
The officer added that Kursija booked the consignment in another exporter’s name without his knowledge by forging documents on his (exporter’s) company’s name.
He used the import-export code of the exporter, forged invoice on his company’s name and even gave an undertaking on a forged letterhead.
“He planned everything so meticulously, but was silly to keep the rice in the same gunny bags,” said the officer. Kursija intentionally brought the container to Nhava Sheva port in the evening and tried to get it cleared in a hurry.
“He tried to convince the customs to immediately clear the consignment citing urgency, but failed in his attempt,” added the officer.
According to the customs officer, the rice was purchased from Masjid Bunder area and was taken by road to Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. At Kalamboli, it was stuffed in the container and then brought to the port.According to the customs officer, the rice was purchased from Masjid Bunder area and was taken by road to Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. At Kalamboli, it was stuffed in the container and then brought to the port.