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Duty evasion: Two customs officials suspended
December, 11th 2013

Two customs officials have been suspended for dereliction of duty after a duty evasion racket was busted at the courier terminal at the airport. The Customs department has also arrested Gaurav Khianra, director of AMI Express Services, a courier firm.

There was a high drama at the terminal on November 16, when assistant commissioner of Customs Kiran Kumar Karlapu and his colleague arrived on a bike around 6pm and blocked three trucks that were about to leave. The officials had bits of intelligence information that the garments in the vehicle were cleared without proper assessment of duty and would make its way to the local market. The officials removed the trucks' keys and directed them back for a re-examination.

The investigations that followed showed that 147 packets containing 17,000 pieces of garments that came from China were worth a crore but the documents submitted to the Customs showed a value of Rs 1.5 lakh. This translates into around Rs 28 lakh duty evasion, an official said. "Investigations are on to ascertain whether the suspended officials Jaspal Sharma and S R Vadke connived with the importers. The matter has been referred to the vigilance department," an official said. The role of some more officials is being examined considering that at least 55 consignments worth over Rs 20 crore have been cleared in the last three months.

Officials are searching for Amol Krishnamurthy, another director of AMI Express and believed to be the mastermind. The 147 importers existed but they had never placed any orders. Khianra misused the identity documents submitted by them for imports in the past to perpetrate the fraud,'' an official said.

Khinara has claimed that in September he had alerted the customs prevent smuggling of a narcotics consignment declared as soap powder out of the country through courier.

Two customs officials have been suspended for dereliction of duty after a duty evasion racket was busted at the courier terminal at the airport. Customs department has also arrested Gaurav Khianra, director of AMI Express Services, a courier firm.

It was high drama at the terminal on November 16, when assistant commissioner of customs Kiran Kumar Karlapu and his colleague arrived on a bike at around 6 pm and blocked three trucks that were about to leave. The officials had bits of intelligence information that the garments in the vehicle were cleared without proper assessment of duty and would make its way into the local market. The officials removed the truck keys and directed it back for a re-examination.

The investigations that followed showed that 147 packets containing 17,000 pieces of garments that came from China were worth a crore but the documents submitted to the customs showed a value of Rs 1.5 lakh. This translates into around Rs 28 lakh duty evasion, an official said. Investigations are on to ascertain whether the suspended officials Jaspal Sharma and S R Vadke connived with the importers. The matter has been referred to the vigilance department,'' an official said. The role of some more officials is being examined considering that at least 55 consignments worth over Rs 20 crore have been cleared in the last three months.

Officials are searching for Amol Krishnamurthy, another director of AMI Express and believed to be the mastermind. The 147 importers existed but they had never placed any orders. Khianra misused the identity documents submitted by them for imports in the past to perpetrate the fraud,'' an official said.

Khinara has claimed that in September he had alerted the customs prevent smuggling of a narcotics consignment declared as soap powder out of the country through courier.

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