CHENNAI: Foreign origin cigarettes worth Rs 4.23 crore, which were smuggled in three containers from Dubai, were seized at a Container Freight Station here on Thursday. Four persons were arrested in this regard by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
Working on a tip-off that foreign origin cigarettes are being smuggled by a syndicate in an import consignment of “Calcium Carbonate”, DRI sleuths intercepted that consignment imported in three 20 feet containers after it was transhipped to Container freight station from Kattupalli Port.
On examination of the consignment, DRI officials found carton boxes concealed inside the declared “Calcium Carbonate” bags which contained “Gudang Garam” cigarettes of Indonesian origin. A total of 30.24 lakh sticks of cigarettes were found.
The market value of the seized cigarettes is about Rs 4.23 crore and these cigarettes do not bear statutory health and pictorial warnings mandated under Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008 as amended from September 1, 2018.
The cigarettes, calcium carbonate bags and the three containers were seized under the Customs Act, 1962. Four persons, including the importer who permitted the syndicate to import through his firm, were arrested.
Cigarettes fall under Section 123 of Customs Act 1962 by which a burden is cast upon persons who are in possession of cigarettes to prove that the cigarettes were not smuggled into India.
DRI officials found carton boxes concealed inside the declared “Calcium Carbonate” bags which contained “Gudang Garam” cigarettes of Indonesian origin.