New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 114MTs of Areca Nuts worth Rs 8.61 crores smuggled into the country through Tuticorin and Chennai ports.
"Based on specific information that Areca Nuts in huge quantity are being illicitly imported into India from Jebel Ali, Dubai and Singapore in containers by mis-declaring the goods as "Compounded Animal Feed" and Barley, through Tuticorin and Chennai port, a total of five containers (2 containers at Tuticorin port and 3 containers at Chennai Port) were intercepted and taken up for investigation," the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.
On examination of the containers, it was found that the gunny bags stacked in the first two rows contained the declared cargo "Compounded Animal Feed" as well as "Barley" and the remaining gunny bags contained "Areca Nuts".
The total quantity of 114.372 MTs of smuggled Areca Nuts totally valued at Rs. 8.61 crores along with the cover cargo viz., Compounded Animal Feed and Barley were seized under the Customs Act, 1962 for violating the provisions of the Customs Act, it added.
The gang attempted to smuggle the Areca Nuts by way of concealment in the guise of 'Compounded Animal Feed' and 'Barley'.
According to the ministry's official statement, the preliminary investigation revealed that a person arranged the import of all five containers from Chennai. Swift's follows up action initiated, led to the apprehension of the kingpin who has arranged the smuggling of all the consignments by way of concealment.
He was arrested and remanded to Judicial Custody.
DRI Chennai Zonal Unit had earlier seized 232.349MTs of Areca Nut, valued at Rs.11.72 crore concealed along with various cover goods and imported from Indonesia in the last few months.
In the financial year 2022-23, about 3670.19 MT of areca nuts valued at Rs 143 crore has been seized by the various units of DRI. (ANI)