Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Customs corruption@1.25%

Ahmedabad: Want to get an export-import file cleared? All you need to do is bribe a customs official with an amount which is 1.25 % of the total value of bills to be cleared.
That’s exactly the system the seven arrested customs and excise officials followed to run their state-wide bribery network. CBI, Gandhinagar busted this racket during search operations in 30 premises, including 26 in Gujarat and four in Mumbai and Delhi on March 8 and arrested seven customs officials.
The CBI, before carrying out the search operation found that in around 12 separate dealings, Mehul Jhaveri of Khimji Poonja Freight Forwarder Pvt Ltd had paid the seven accused customs officials Rs 21,88,500 as bribe between July, 2010 and October, 2010. The kickback for clearing bill was calculated at the rate of 1.25% of the total bill value and paid by Jhaveri through his men Tushar Waghela and Girish Malpani.
The seven officials after the raids on March 8, include — superintendents Om Prakash Pande, Chandu Kalal, Akhil Barot, Suresh KC and VK Pargi and inspectors Devendra Sagwan and N B Choudhary.
According to investigators, the bribe money calculated at 1.25 % of the value of work to be done was delivered to one official in a sealed cover, either at his home or at a deserted place between Ahmedabad and Surat, and was then distributed to others. The officers generally operating in front were Kalal, Sagwan, Suresh and Barot.
CBI during the search operation also found diaries and bank deposit slips from these officials’ houses which suggest that these officials deposited lakhs of rupees every week in their family members’ accounts. Incriminating documents suggesting large investments of these officials in real estate have been found.
“This is a huge racket and doesn’t stop at these 10 officials who are arrested. They took 1.25 % of the bills cleared and helped exporters evade crores of duty. Investigations are on to other people involved in the scam and we fear that if any of these officials are given bail they will try hampering the investigation and tamper with
the evidences,” said a CBI investigator.

Fixed rates for all favours

Ahmedabad: Three of the 12 murky deals, which CBI uncovered, involved Mehul Jhaveri who had bribed different customs officials to get his files cleared. As per CBI officials, superintendent, Ahmedabad, K C Suresh was paid Rs 15 lakh for clearing five files with bills of over Rs 1.22 crore. On July 19, 2010, superintendent, Ahmedabad, Chandu Kalal was paid Rs 58,000 for clearing three files with bills valuing Rs 46.87 lakh and on October 7, 2010, inspector, Surat, Devendra Sagwan was paid Rs 1.5 lakh at Surat and on October 19, he was paid Rs 2.65 lakh. TNN

Three more officials held

Ahmedabad: Three more customs officials were arrested from Surat in connection with the state-wide bribery racket case on Tuesday. CBI officials carried out search operations at two premises and arrested customs superintendent Sadhna Bapat and inspectors RK Chaudhary and PM Chaudhary.
CBI had earlier busted a bribery network involving Gujarat customs officials and Mumbai-based custom house agent (CHA) Khimji Poonja Freight Forwarder and carried out searches at 30 premises, including 26 in Gujarat and two each in Mumbai and Delhi on March 8.
CBI had also found investment details of customs officials and recovered Rs 17 lakh cash from customs inspector Devendra Sagwan’s house in Surat.
“We found incriminating documents suggesting involvement of the three officials. Bapat’s house was searched earlier but then enough evidences indicating her involvement were not found,” said a senior CBI official.

No comments:

Post a Comment