Delhi businessman arrested by Mumbai customs for evading duty
He is accused of illegally importing old hard disks worth ₹7.40 crore, involving customs duty worth ₹1.33 crore
The Customs department has arrested a Delhi-based businessman in connection with a duty evasion case. Officials said the man had illegally imported used and second-hand hard disk drives (a restricted item) by misdeclaring them as new ones to evade custom duty and receive undue benefit.
Girlish Vijay Dhingra, 39, the proprietor of South Delhi-based firm Cruiser Technologies, was arrested from Delhi and brought to Mumbai on Wednesday and produced in court. The court remanded him to 14 days’ judicial custody.
According to the preventive unit of the customs department, Mumbai, Dhingra has been arrested in connection with a January 2020 case. Customs officials, on January 10, had intercepted a container at Nhava Sheva and seized a huge consignment of second-hand hard drives that had been misdeclared as new ones.
Further investigations revealed that Dhingra has unlawfully imported second hand hard drives in the guise of new ones and sold them in the past as well . He is accused of illegally importing old hard disks worth ₹7.40 crore, involving customs duty worth ₹1.33 crore.
Officials said the investigation revealed that Dhingra, through his firm, had imported second-hand hard disk drives, but misdeclared them as new ones to evade duty. He allegedly did so because under the Foreign Trade policy, the import of second-hand goods or refurbished or reconditioned spares of refurbished parts of personal computers or laptops are restricted. The import of old hard disk drives requires authorisation from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Dhingra’s firm did not have authorisation to import second-hand hard drives.
His firm also did not have the mandatory permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which is compulsory for the second-hand hard drives that are under the ‘other waste’ category as per the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, and cannot be imported without the ministries’ permission.
Following the seizure of the second-hand hard drives, Dhingra was interrogated by the customs officials in February and was asked to produce relevant documents for the imported items. Dhingra failed to submit complete and accurate information about the imported goods and continued to buy them. He also stopped responding to the summons of the customs department.
Dhingra’s lawyer Ravi Hirani, however, said that his client had already paid duty for previous consignments. “How it is possible to clear the goods without completing the customs formalities? It’s a false case against my client,” said Hirani.