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5 held for smuggling mobile phones, accessories worth crores

MUMBAI: The Central Intelligence Unit of the Air cargo complex has arrested five persons, for allegedly smuggling mobile phones and accessories worth crores of rupees, an official said today.

According to officials, acting on tip-offs, 30 consignments declared to contain mobile phones and accessories were intercepted in April.

Five persons, Murari Sawant, Manish Barot, Ashwin Joshi, Pradeep Rane and Amit Singhania were apprehended on Monday, they said.

“Examination of these consignments revealed that gross misdeclaration has been resorted to evade payment of duty,” officials said, adding the description of the declared goods was vague to undervalue the consignment.

But, it was revealed that most of the goods were branded. Searches were conducted at official and residential premises of customs brokers and importers at various locations across the megapolis, they said.

“Investigations have revealed a nexus between importers and brokers wherein an Import Export Code (ICE) is taken in the name of a bogus or proxy importer,” officials said.

They said certain entities in Hong Kong, China and Taipei were the suppliers for most of the consignments of mobile accessories.

“Certain incriminating documents have also been recovered during the searches which reveal that brokers in collusion with importers used to fabricate invoices in their offices,” an official said.

“This way, the accused got 400 consignments, worth Rs 26 crore, cleared till now,” he said.