KOCHI: It could be a major security breach at the Customs office in Kochi as seals of Customs officers were found stolen and allegedly used by private agencies for forging import/export documents. The Customs Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch (SIIB) has launched a probe including involvement of Customs officials behind the incident.
Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said SIIB unit has launched an investigation after it was found that the seals of some of the officers were stolen. “Several entities that are suspected to be behind forging of documents using stolen seals are under our radar,” he said.
The incident came to light after one of the Customs officers while examining the documents found signatures of another customs officers as forged one. “Later, we interrogated employees of shipping agencies in which stealing of stamps and forging signatures were revealed. Later we carried out searches at offices and recovered the documents which are under scrutiny now,” Sumit Kumar said.
The SIIB is interrogating agents as well as officials in the Customs office. “All documents are under scrutiny. We are investigating all the aspects including involvement of officials in the office. The investigation will require some more time,” he said.
Customs Department will approach the police once the investigation by SIIB is completed. “Once we complete the investigation, we will file a complaint with the police for the forgery of the documents and stealing. The criminal aspect behind the stealing of the seals will be probed by the police,” he said.
Meanwhile, Customs Department on Tuesday suspended the registration of MBK Logistix to operate under Customs Commissionerate as Steamer Agent, Consol Agent and Shipping Line Agent. A press release issued by Raji N S, Deputy Commissioner, Customs(I&B) stated action was initiated following a preliminary enquiry in which it was revealed that MBK Logistix Pvt Ltd fabricated Customs related documents by putting signatures and seals of officers which were suspected to be stolen from the office premises.