The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a racket involving smuggling of expensive imported furniture and glassware.
This occurred when they seized two containers with goods worth Rs 2.5 crore, smuggled from London via Dubai. A part of the consignment allegedly belongs to two Mumbai-based fashion designers who also deal in upscale furniture and chandeliers.
The containers had 385 packages and were in the name of a Kerala resident who had worked as a labourer in Dubai, and had returned to India. With investigation still at a preliminary stage, the agency has withheld his name. The packages inside the containers have the names of the actual recipients.
Of these, 21 packages of furniture, chandeliers and glassware bear the names of the two designers. The DRI is verifying if these packages were in fact meant for them. “Before summoning them, we want to get enough evidence as the documentation is in the name of somebody else,” a DRI official said requesting anonymity.
DRI said the first container reached Mumbai port in the last week of November. With the Customs Department, which collects duty at the port, failing to notice the smuggling attempt, the container was cleared and routed to Delhi.
A week later, the second container arrived using the same modus operandi, except that this time the DRI got a tip-off, and seized it. They also told their counterparts in Delhi about the first container, which was then seized from a car showroom owner there.
The value of the second container — worth Rs 78 lakh, and Rs 1.5 crore after adding duty and local taxes — was declared as Rs 38,000. The declared value of the Delhi container — worth almost Rs 60 lakh, and Rs 1 crore after duty and local taxes – was around Rs 70,000.