DRI arrests two ; seizes counterfeit gutkha to be sent to Kuwait via Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized counterfeit Gutkha of a top brand meant for smuggling through Pipavav port in Gujarat to Kuwait worth over Rs 5 crore (Rs 14 crore as per Kuwait market prices).

The kingpin of the Guthka smuggling racket Salim Ismail Dola and his custom clearing agent have also been arrested.

A officer of the DRI here today informed that specific intelligence was developed by DRI, Ahmedabad that certain unscrupulous persons would attempt to smuggle substantial quantity of counterfeit Vimal brand Gutkha in plastic pouches to Kuwait in the name of Navrang Jewels & Exports, a dummy company and would not declare the smuggled items in the export documents.

‘Export of Gutkha in plastic pouches is not allowed .On the tip off a 40 ft high cube container which was cleared from Inland Container Depot (ICD) Loni was intercepted by DRI officers at gateway port, Pipavava from where it was to sail for Kuwait. Intelligence also indicated that substantial quantity of counterfeit Vimal brand gutkha was stacked in smuggler’s go-down situated near Kanjhawala Chowk, Delhi and the same would also be smuggled out of country subsequently by adopting same modus-operandi. Officers of DRI, Delhi apprehended Salim Ismail Dola ,the mastermind of this smuggling racket and seized 50.28 lakh pouches of counterfeit gutkha having market value of Rs.3.02 Crore along with the covering material meant for smuggling it to Kuwait. Further, the container already arrived at Pipavav port was also examined by the officers of Jamnagar DRI which resulted in seizure of 42 lakh more pouches having market value of Rs.2.52 Crore along with covering material. In all total 92.58 lakh pouches of counterfeit gutkha plastic pouches having total illicit market value of Rs.5.54 crores were seized.”

He said, ”Gutkha is banned in Kuwait and it sells at high premium in black market there which makes smuggling of gutkha very lucrative. The total market value of seized counterfeit Gutkha in illicit market of Kuwait is approximately Rs 14 crores.”

Salim Ismail Dola, the kingpin of the smuggling racket and Sanjay Prabhakar, Customs Clearing Agent were arrested by the officers of DRI, Delhi and were sent to jail after production in a court. Further investigation is under progress, he said.

DeshGujarat

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