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A group of fraud international traders including
officers of custom department were exposed in the comprehensive investigation
done by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). They were defrauding
government by filling fake duty bills for exports of Rupees 100 crore since few
months. They also claimed duty drawback of rupees 10 crore from government
without doing any exports. During verification, DRI also found that bribe of
rupees 1 crore was ostensibly attempted by Dhobale the fraudulent exporter to
officials to remain quiet.

Duty drawback is a benefit given by the government
to the exporters to motivate and promote national exports. In this government
scheme the export expense is reimbursed by the government. Export General
Manifest is required as a proof of export by government agencies for availing
duty drawbacks.

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The syndicate is said to be led by Sanjay Shinde,
Uttam Chaudhari and Dharmesh Joshi, where almost 250 fake shipping bills for tea,
coffee, coriander seeds and perfumed incense sticks with the help of different
brokers. When he was enquired for the bills no exports had took place and the
syndicate with the support of shipping firm and Custom officials got the duty
drawback only on the basis of paper transactions with the single sign-on (SSO)
identification. The LEO and the process of filing Export General Manifest of
these fake shipping bills was given to them illegally through associate Murji
Bhanushali by acquiring and using the ID and passwords of customs officials of
port area to access the official portal of the Central Board of Excise and
Customs (CBEC) – ICEGATE illegally to file their fake export bills.

This scam got a successful way because, Previously checking
was physically done at the entry point by the customs to see whether the export
container has entered the port or not. In 2016 the direct port entry system was
started at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to regulate the traffic at
the port terminal gates, to lessen the time of export containers and ease the congestion.

“The case has been detected by the DRI and we are
reaching out to them to get details of the case. We will act swiftly and
harshly against any customs officer of JNCH found to have been involved in any
violation,” Vijay Chauhan, Commissioner of Customs, JNCH, told The Indian

Amongst all, Sanjay Shinde, Uttam Chaudhari,
Dharmesh Joshi, Murji Bhanushali ,Mohd Rafiq and A Aziz and Anthony John Tauro
are in connection with the scam. They have been remanded under judicial
custody. Other than this, One of the Customs officer and Singh Swami Dhobale (
fraudulent exporter ) with 8 other ghost exporters were arrested. Other than
this seventeen officers of Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House (JNCH) are verified
under agency’s scanner in Nhava Sheva in Mumbai .

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