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A group of fraud international traders includingofficers of custom department were exposed in the comprehensive investigationdone by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). They were defraudinggovernment by filling fake duty bills for exports of Rupees 100 crore since fewmonths. They also claimed duty drawback of rupees 10 crore from governmentwithout doing any exports. During verification, DRI also found that bribe ofrupees 1 crore was ostensibly attempted by Dhobale the fraudulent exporter toofficials to remain quiet. Duty drawback is a benefit given by the governmentto the exporters to motivate and promote national exports.

In this governmentscheme the export expense is reimbursed by the government. Export GeneralManifest is required as a proof of export by government agencies for availingduty drawbacks.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 differentbrokers. When he was enquired for the bills no exports had took place and thesyndicate with the support of shipping firm and Custom officials got the dutydrawback only on the basis of paper transactions with the single sign-on (SSO)identification. The LEO and the process of filing Export General Manifest ofthese fake shipping bills was given to them illegally through associate MurjiBhanushali by acquiring and using the ID and passwords of customs officials ofport area to access the official portal of the Central Board of Excise andCustoms (CBEC) – ICEGATE illegally to file their fake export bills.This scam got a successful way because, Previously checkingwas physically done at the entry point by the customs to see whether the exportcontainer has entered the port or not. In 2016 the direct port entry system wasstarted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to regulate the traffic atthe port terminal gates, to lessen the time of export containers and ease the congestion.

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“The case has been detected by the DRI and we arereaching out to them to get details of the case. We will act swiftly andharshly against any customs officer of JNCH found to have been involved in anyviolation,” Vijay Chauhan, Commissioner of Customs, JNCH, told The IndianExpress. Amongst all, Sanjay Shinde, Uttam Chaudhari,Dharmesh Joshi, Murji Bhanushali ,Mohd Rafiq and A Aziz and Anthony John Tauroare in connection with the scam. They have been remanded under judicialcustody. Other than this, One of the Customs officer and Singh Swami Dhobale (fraudulent exporter ) with 8 other ghost exporters were arrested. Other thanthis seventeen officers of Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House (JNCH) are verifiedunder agency’s scanner in Nhava Sheva in Mumbai .

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