KOCHI: Central Burea of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Wednesday searched the office and residences of Customs officers in Kochi following a case registered over irregularities in importing e-waste (Electronic waste) through Kochi Port for last several years. The raids were also carried out in offices of companies importing domestic appliances in Kolkata
The case was registered following a preliminary inquiry conducted by its unit in Kochi, according to CBI.
The raids are being held at 12 locations in Kochi and three in Kolkata. "The raid is currently underway. We had registered an FIR against customs officials and domestic appliances company in Kolkata on Tuesday," an officer said.
The probe follows a suspicion that the Kolkata-based companies, which imported the machines, were bogus and used fake addresses in the documents submitted at the Cochin Port. Of the 8,000-odd machines which arrived in Kochi, 3,100 were found to be e-waste. The machines, imported by Athul Automation and Parag Domestic Appliances, allegedly contained hazardous elements such as cadmium, selenium and iridium. The Customs Department and the State Pollution Control Board ordered the agency to re-export the photocopier machines.
CBI has received information that more than 25,000 multi-functional photocopiers, mainly from the US and Germany, passed through the Cochin port in the last three years. The imports were made by different agencies. However, the CBI has received information these photocopiers were imported by a single firm under the names of several agents.