Acting on a tip-off, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a major racket of fake exports to Bangladesh.
“A group of persons based in Kolkata belonging to a particular syndicate had prepared false export documents like forged purchase orders, forged export invoices and procurement papers and used them for filing the shipping bills in Petrapole Land Customs Station to earn undue export benefits. The shipping bills were processed for exports on paper only without presenting the actual goods. The vehicles supposed to be carrying the goods were also not present,” said an official of Kolkata unit of the DRI.
Investigations reveal that the racket provided false vehicle numbers on the shipping documents, used false stamp and signature of Bangladesh Customs officers on the export documents to show that the consignments have crossed the border.
Import Export Code of 10 such exporting firms have been utilized in preparing 51 such fraudulent shipping bills, wherein, goods like pan masala, two wheeler and three wheeler parts, motor parts and items eligible for higher GST refunds, worth Rs. 24 Crores were shown to have been exported. The export benefits involved are to the tune of at least Rs 12 Crores.
According to sources in the DRI, three masterminds of the racket were arrested in December last year who spearheaded the whole racket along with other Bongaon-based agents.
“The Customs broker, who has allowed his stamps to be utilized in the fraud has also been arrested in January, 2019. On Friday, six persons were arrested, they have been identified as - Sujit Swarnakar, Sajal Swarnakar, Dipankar Pal, Suvankar Pal, Arjun Adhikary and Prosenjit Das of Bongaon, who actually had executed the fraud at the Land Customs Station.
With this arrest, a total of ten arrests have been made in connection with the case.
Apart from these syndicate members, role of five customs officers who were hand in glove with the racketeers have also come under the scanner. The five officers have been suspended by their department.