Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) The DRI has busted a syndicate importing edible oil from Bangladesh by misusing the agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) to evade customs duty, an official said on Wednesday. A man has been arrested in this connection.
Kanpur Edibles Pvt. Ltd. had hatched a conspiracy to avail the benefit of exemption of duty under SAFTA rules which was otherwise not eligible, an official of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said.
Sunil Kumar Gupta, director and main operator of the firm, was arrested on Monday from Kanpur.
The accused was produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Kanpur, on Tuesday and was remanded to be produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Kolkata, on Wednesday, the official said.
During investigation, the accused firm was found to have imported 17,365.81 tonnes of refined palmolein, cumulatively valued at Rs 116.04 crore from various land customs stations at Gojadanga, Mahadipur and Petrapol in West Bengal, the agency said.
Seven live consignments containing 771.935 tonnes of imported refined palmolein, cumulatively valued at Rs. 4.55 crore, were seized.
“In respect of consignments imported in the past involving duty of around Rs 45.62 crore are under investigation.”
If edible oil is imported from non-SAFTA countries, it attracts basic customs duty of 54 per cent along with social welfare surcharge (SWS) of 10 per cent, apart from applicable IGST. However, if imported from SAFTA countries, basic customs duty and SWS are waived.