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25 Mar 2019, Edition - 1350, Monday

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Tamilnadu News

This breed of smugglers swears by diesel from Dubai

Covai Post Network

Chennai : Sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have smashed a diesel smuggling racket involving players from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Since diesel is a restricted commodity under the government’s Foreign Trade policy for the country, these players were found flouting the strict regulations on diesel import. Diesel can only be imported by oil marketing companies as per the government regulations.

Union Finance ministry has in a statement issued here said diesel was being brought from Dubai in huge quantities regularly through containers at Chennai Port for further illegal sale in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

DRI officials searched the premises of suspected culprits, after due surveillance with the help of Andhra Pradesh state intelligence, for the past four days.

Fourteen containers imported at Chennai Port in the name of SAF Petroleum and Aditya Marine landed at Sanco Container Freight Station, here and Gateway Container Freight Station were found carrying 263.78 ton (around three lakh litres) of diesel but declared as mineral spirit.

According to DRI, the operators based in port town of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh were importing diesel and showing the consignments as mineral spirit.

They not only smuggled in the diesel as mineral spirit but also under declared the value to evade customs duty.

The smugglers had their office premises in Kakinada, storage yard at Maraimalai Nagar and Guindy in Chennai from where they allegedly ran the smuggling operation.

These people floated dummy companies in Dubai to procure diesel and import the same to Chennai by creating forged and false documents.

It is suspected that so far, the smugglers had brought in 5,366 ton (around 63 lakh litres) of diesel valued at around Rs.17.7 crore.

Four persons, including the mastermind and one hawala operator have been arrested under Customs Act 1962, the DRI said.

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