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DRI seizes smuggled areca nuts worth Rs 32 crores at Maharashtra’s port

In a major crackdown against smuggling of areca nuts, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Sunday seized around 371 tons of areca nuts at Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. The seized areca nuts worth over Rs 32 crores, were recovered from 14 containers by the DRI team. The team is further investigating the matter to trace the people behind the smuggling racket. 

An official of the DRI stated, “Based on reliable information, the containers were stopped at Jawaharlal Nehru Port on August 31st. The consignment was to be transhipped to dry port in Talegaon but before they could be transhipped to dry port Talegaon following a suspicion that the cargo could be pilfered or replaced en route, the team intercepted the container.”  

Smugglers attempted duty evasion of Rs 36 crore in the case, says source

As per the official, the import manifest details and the declaration on the containers were listed as carrying calcium nitrate. However, during the physical examination of the containers, it was found that the containers were filled with areca nuts. News agency PTI, quoted an official who stated that considering it as a major case of brazen misdeclaration, all the 14 containers filled with smuggled areca nuts were seized. 

It is being informed that the government has put a tariff value of US Dollar 10,379 per metric ton on import of the areca nuts to India. Further the DRI officials seized the entire consignment of areca nuts weighing at around 3,71,090 kg and valued at Rs 32.31 crore. 

According to the information, the attempted duty evasion in this case of smuggling of areca nuts by way of misdeclaration was around Rs 36 crore. A probe into the matter has been initiated to ascertain further facts about the seizure. 

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