Nhava Sheva Custom House on Monday seized 25.26 metric ton of Red Sanders wood logs valued internationally at more than Rs2 crore.
Officials said that a bogus exporter using the name of an existing exporter, Shubh Fabric and Textiles, had taken the 40 feet container into the Jawaharlal Nehru Trust (JNPT). The container was consigned to a party in Dubai.
According to K R Bhargava, chief commissioner of customs (export), “When the documents were presented for custom clearances, our Preventive officer Sanjay Bhosle and superintendent Anil Kumar noted certain discrepancies in the dates of sending the container from the factory and its date of entry into the port area. Immediate enquiries were made to confirm the details and it was found to be a bogus export.”
Several similar seizures have been made in the past year at JNPT. “During the past twelve months in this custom house, about 15 consignments of red sanders wood logs of a total quantity of over 200 metric tons, valued at nearly Rs.18 crore, attempted to be exported through Jawaharlal Nehru port, have been seized,” Bhargava added.
Sushil Solanki, commissioner of customs (export), said, “It is evident from the spate of seizures taking place all over India that smugglers of red sanders are operating on a massive scale and are running highly organised international smuggling rackets.”
“To stop the smuggling of red sanders we are taking steps like using latest technologies to detect cases of red sandalwood smuggling and have also sent a proposal to the state government to increase security of container cargoes,” Solanki said
“We have also sent a proposal for a smart card project for all exporters which will be in operation from April for transparency in exports,” he added.