Smuggled cigarettes worth Rs1 crore seized from godown in Mumbai

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 60 smuggled cartons of cigarettes of foreign brands worth Rs 1 crore from the godown of a courier firm in south Mumbai on Tuesday and arrested its owner.

The DRI officers raided the godown, located at Chira Bazar on Monday and found 29 bags containing the cartons, which had 6.73 lakh cigarette sticks. The accused, Bipin Kumar Singh, was then arrested on Tuesday.

According to the DRI, the smuggled cigarettes are sold for overpriced rates in Indian market. During interrogation, Singh told the DRI officers that he had received the cargo from a businessman in Delhi. Singh has been sent into judicial custody by a local court. The DRI officers are finding out how the cigarettes were smuggled to India by the Delhi trader.

“Some cartons were to be delivered in Hyderabad, while some others in Mumbai. The bags were marked accordingly. The bags were sent to Mumbai from train. It did not contain a bill or an invoice,” an officer from DRI said.

Singh has been charged under the relevant sections of the Customs Act for smuggling. His lawyer Ravi Hirani told HT that Singh was not aware of the contents of the cargo. “He was just conducting his business. He received the bags to courier them. It is not his concern if the importer in Delhi has paid the duty for the cigarettes or not. My client has been made a scape goat,” Hirani said.

First Published:
Jun 12, 2019 15:14 IST

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