The DRI is investigating importers who route Pakistani dates via Gulf
MUMBAI: The proprietor of an import-export company that brought into the country three containers filled with Pakistani dates via Oman despite a government-imposed ban was arrested by the DRI recently. The ban came into force after the Pulwama attack early this year.
The importer, Harish Ramani, a resident of Jodhpur, last month had moved the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail. The court rejected the plea after the DRI objected to it and said that he had evaded duty and caused losses of Rs 8.5 crore to the exchequer.
Ramani is the fifth person to be arrested in the ongoing investigation of importers of Pakistani dates through Oman and other Gulf countries. Besides Ramani’s three containers, there was a fourth date container that was detected.
Sources said there are 29 more containers carrying Pakistani dates awaiting due process at Chennai and Gujarat ports. More than a dozen importers have been given show-cause notices.
At JNPT in September, the DRI seized four containers weighing 40 tonnes and each containing dates imported from Pakistan. During the investigations the DRI arrested the proprietor of KBN Tradelinks, Ibrahim Imran Telli, and three others, namely, Mohandas Wadhuman Kataria, Shewak Makhija and Irfan Hasjiosman Nursumar. Two of the four persons arrested, Kataria and Makhija, were born in Pakistan and recently procured Indian citizenship.
Officials said that till now investigations have suggested that the accused have prima facie an estimated Rs 9 crore in duty and the figure might go up once the worth of containers stranded at Chennai and Gujarat is calculated.
During investigations it transpired that Ibrahim Telli had imported these dates from one Shyam’s Pakistani firm Anwar Al Shariqia Al Haditha LLC in Oman, and from Oman the dates were sent to India. Ramani, who had imported three containers, was even exporting various agro-products to Pakistan. Officials said that Ramani had even gone to Dubai to have a meeting with importers regarding imports of dates.
Nursumar, who is Telli’s brother-in-law, lives at Claire Road in Byculla and his family is into the dates business. It was Nursumar’s connections in Pakistan who helped them route the dry dates from Pakistan to Oman and then to India. Nursumar’s import-export code was used to import the dry dates.
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