Top Customs official’s home raided, Rs 56 lakh seized | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Top Customs official’s home raided, Rs 56 lakh seized

mumbai Updated: Sep 25, 2009 01:29 IST
Manish Pachouly

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) raided a Customs official for plotting with exporters and causing loss of about Rs 25 crore to the government exchequer.

The DRI raided the official residence of Superintendent of Customs (Preventive) Benudhar Samal at Five Gardens in Matunga and seized Rs 56 lakh in cash.

Samal is posted in the export section of Customs at Nhava Sheva.

The raid was conducted late on Wednesday after DRI found Samal allegedly plotted with 90 garment exporters who wrongly declared their garment consignments to wrongfully claim Rs 25 crore worth duty drawback given by the government.

A senior DRI official, requesting anonymity, said that Samal’s role was detected after Samal cleared a container at Nhava Sheva, with substandard garments declared as proper garments.

Samal had been posted at Nhava Sheva for the last five months.

The DRI also found that these exporters used fake Import-Export Code to export substandard garments.

The DRI official said Samal got a hint about the raid and tried to save himself by calling the Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch (SIIB) of Customs on Wednesday (prior to the raid) alerting them about the container in Nhava Sheva carrying substandard garments.

“He tried to show that he had alerted the department but it was too late as we (at DRI) had already detected the fraud,” the official said.

The DRI is also questioning seven persons including some exporters and Customs House Agents (CHA).

Although no arrests were made on Thursday, DRI officials said that some of these people would be arrested on Friday.