Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted an international syndicate smuggling red sanders and seized 7.120 metric tonnes worth Rs 2.85 crore from a container at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) on Monday. Two people were arrested.
The red sanders were hidden between cement bricks and were being exported to Dubai as ‘bricks of fly ash’. Exporting red sanders is prohibited in the country.
The arrested have been identified as Rajendra Vithhal Shinde, 33, and Shaikh Toushik Riaz Jamadar, 35. Both are residents of Navi Mumbai. Shinde owns multiple firms.
After preliminary probe, the DRI officials arrested the two from their Navi Mumbai houses. Incriminating documents on the consignment and fake rubber stamps of government officials and bank documents were seized from their houses.
A DRI source said Shinde, during questioning, admitted his role in the offence and told investigators that a Chennai resident Jagdish alias Singham had supplied him the consignment. Shinde, with the help from Jamadar, allegedly prepared Importer Exporter Code (IEC) in the name of MRM Silica showing its proprietor as one Maharshi Mekhia. “Bricks of fly ash were loaded in the container at Maliwada, Aurangabad. It was cleared for export from Maliwada to JNPT. On the way, the seals affixed by the Central excise officers were broken and some bricks of fly ash were replaced with red sanders,” said a DRI official requesting anonymity. “Shinde was to get Rs40 lakh for the consignment.”
Jamadar allegedly forged the signature of Maharshi Mekhia and obtained IEC fraudulently. He was to get Rs 1 lakh for this.