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Mumbai Customs Muddle – Articles on MUMBAI CUSTOMS on Corruption, Mismanagement, COVER UP, Conniving with FRAUDSTERS, Not taking actions on CORRUPT officers, Victimisation and Harassment of Whistleblowers,

Posted by egovindia on May 28, 2006

Mumbai Customs MuddleArticles on MUMBAI CUSTOMS on Corruption, Mismanagement, COVER UP, Conniving with FRAUDSTERS, Not taking actions on CORRUPT officers, Victimisation and Harassment of Whistleblowers,

Please look into this.

This is Mumbai Customs Muddle WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON MUMBAI CUSTOMS !

This just a part of it. We have requested information as per Right To Information Act 2005 from Addl DG(Vlg). So far nothing has been provided.

 ___________________________________________________

May 6th 2006

Smt. Neerja Shah Addl DG (VIg.) Directorate General of Vigilance, Customs and Central Excise West Zonal Unit, 4th Floor, Transport House, Poona Street, Masjid (East) Mumbai – 40009

Phone No. (022) 22619506 Fax (022) 23703133 e-mail: adgvigwest@cbec.gov.in, mail2vigilance@indiatimes.com,

Sub:   This is AGAIN a bad NEWS for MUMBAI CUSTOMS !! Please read the following article. Which is from Times of INDIA, Mumbai Dated May 5th 2006  We would like to get information on this please.

TAUFIQUE IS OUT BUT DRI NABS HIS CLOSE AID IN Rs 30 CR CASE

By Taxindiaonline News Service MUMBAI, 3 MAY : EVEN as the Mumbai Customs fails to fix accountability for the missing EoU documents related to notorious EoU fraudster Taufique Haji Gaffar, the Ahmedabad DRI has arrested his close associate Shyam Bihani who was allegedly operating from Jaipur, Mumbai, Surat and Vadodara. Wanted in customs duty evasion case of about Rs 30 crore he was on the run for quite some time. It is learnt that his companies had forged several advance licences and done huge duty -free imports of goods which were later sold in the open market. On Wednesday he was picked up by the DRI sleuths and remanded in judicial custody. In contrast to these cases, Taufique has become a tough challenge for the department. Though Cofeposa was invoked against him, our police and judicial systems have come to his rescue as he first moved the Ahmedabad High Court and then Mumbai High Court. Even as the court cases are on, a parallel probe was initiated by the Mumbai Customs to probe how did his papers disappear from the customs house. Though there is, as a matter of rules, a custodian of EoU documents in every Customs House but no action was taken against the one in Mumbai. In fact, he was not even shifted out of that slot till he retired. Despite a clear-cut system of appointing an AC (EoU), the Mumbai Customs and the Vigilance are struggling to find out how did the documents sleather out of their custody! From the slow progress in the case it would not be far fetched to conclude that there is an apparent lack of interest among the topbrass here who have done virtually nothing to fix either Taufique or his associates or those who connived with him. It is a common sense that no document misses like this unless somebody has some interests involved in it. But despite High Court observations, the customs has not been able to arrive at any conclusion. And it now appears that the department has given up its efforts to recover more than Rs 30 crore evaded by his group of companies like Rajasthan Fashion, Skyline, Gunjan Fabrics, Texmo Fab and many more. Though the EoU rules have been changed in this year Exim Policy, such examples would go a long way in encouraging fly-by-night operators to cheat the exchequer and coolly get away with it!  ___________________________________________________ May 5th 2006 Sub:   EoU FRAUDSTER GOT UNPRECEDENTED HELP FROM MUMBAI CUSTOMS!  //   EoU FRAUDSTER NAILED DOWN BUT CONNIVING OFFICIALS GO SCOT-FREE This is bad for MUMBAI CUSTOMS !! Please read the following articles. Which are from Taxindiaonline.  We would like to get information on this please.

EoU FRAUDSTER GOT UNPRECEDENTED HELP FROM MUMBAI CUSTOMS!

By Taxindiaonline News Service MUMBAI, 14 JAN, 2002 : FOR EoU fraudster Taufiq Haji Gaffar who perpetrated a series of frauds on the department in connivance with officials, the facility of high seas sale came quite handy. His companies used to procure goods through this method and the sellers of imported raw materials never insisted on payments at the time of signing the agreements. Investigation suspects that they were taking the goods back to themselves after clearance and selling them further in the open market. The funds raised through such sales were then paid through crossed cheques and cash to discounters who issued cheques and drafts in the name of importers. These cheques collected from discounters were shown by importers as the payment from buyers. The facility of accepting third party cheques was grossed abused by importers. What facilitated them in doing such frauds smoothly was the unexceptional cooperation they received from Cooperative Banks in Mumbai and Surat. They actively supported these fraudsters in their clandestine operation, observes investigation report. More interesting is the fact that no foreign supplier was paid for such exports, and the payments were probably made through illegal channel. Let's now see how customs handled these transactions. Once the goods were procured on high seas sale basis the customs house was generous enough to allow notings of such bills of entry brought by unauthorized persons. This was done without keeping any record of sales in the import section. They were deliberately let off to take away all records so that none could be traced. Investigation revealed that imports of one bogus EoU were sold on high seas sale basis to another bogus EoU but the customs preferred to remain casual spectator. What further indicates towards connivance is the fact that forged procurement certificates were submitted to the EoU section in the Mumbai Customs by unauthorised persons and the procedure to receive such certificates in seal-cover was dumped in the dustbin. Worse, even the original bills of entry were not retained by the section. Even the dock staff of the customs failed to ask for the passes from those who were clearing the goods of bogus units. The goods cleared from the docks forwarded under punch seals to central excise were coolly diverted to the open markets. What helped them further was the systems of not insisting for sealed cover warehousing certificates and duplicate copies of bills of entry. The lack of coordination between the customs and central excise authorities helped these fraudsters to go on evading duty for several years. Finally the SIIB caught these units and got the Cofeposa order issued. But then it was the Surat Police turn not to enforce the detention order against Taufiq who has after being denied relief at various High Courts got temporary relief from Delhi HC as his father is reported to be unwell. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing on Thursday and it is to be seen whether he meets his nemesis for all the wrong-doings or not!

EoU FRAUDSTER NAILED DOWN BUT CONNIVING OFFICIALS GO SCOT-FREE

By Taxindiaonline News Service MUMBAI, 21 OCT, 2002 : NO matter how bad is our system but it does work at its own pace. And when it works no connivance and financial muscle can slow it down. This is what has happened in the case of notorious EoU fraudster Taufiq Haji Gaffar of Surat. The Mumbai-based Competent Authority has ordered forfeiture of 39 of his property worth several crores. These property are located in Surat, Rajkot and Mumbai. Apart from residential, office and factory plot these property also include one Mercedes Benz, Santro, Maruti Zen, Ford Escorts and current bank accounts of T & T Overseas Impex, Gujarat Texspin Ltd, Zuhas International Est and Ferrari Textiles Ltd. Since Taufiq's Cofeposa order which was issued a few months back has not been set aside by any court, the Competent Authority, Mr N Krishnamurthy, initiated this measure to prevent him from indulging in more smuggling activities. He is alleged to have evaded customs duty to the tune of Rs 28 crore by diverting duty-free imported yarn in the open market. Even his two firms _ Resham Exports and Rama Syntex _ were found to be non-existent. His modus operandi was to connive with customs and excise officials and undertake duty-free imports in the name of fake firms and sell off the goods in the open market at a premium. Though the department has taken the harshest measure against him but the conniving officials are still scot-free and seem busy conniving with future Taufiq. The Mumbai Customs Chief badly needs to look into this aspect Before ordering the forfeiture of property the Competent Authority, Mr N Krishnamurthy had given three notices to Taufiq who is on the run ever since the Cofeposa order was issued against him. A show cause notice was noticed to him by the Authority but none responded to the notice. Even his wife was not authorised to file a petition on his behalf. Having seen that no vakalatnama was filed, the Authority went ahead with the proceedings and ordered forfeiture of about 39 property held in his name. The authority received a petition against only one bungalow which was found to be disputed. However, even now Taufiq has a chance to move the Appellate Tribunal in Delhi which can review the order of the Authority. But will he do it when detention order is still in force?  ___________________________________________________ May 5th, 2006 Sub:   Nhava Sheva Customs committed to 'seva dharam'; does not mind pepping up officers booked by vigilance! This NEWS is bad for MUMBAI CUSTOMS !! Please read the following article which came to day, May 5th 2006 in Taxindiaonline.  We would like to get information on this please.

Nhava Sheva Customs committed to 'seva dharam'; does not mind pepping up officers booked by vigilance!

MANY citizens may not find Union Govt as welfarist as our Constitution wants it to be! But, the Nhava Sheva Customs can always be seen in a 'seva' mode, concerned about the welfare of even those who are booked by the vigilance for hanky-panky activities. In recent months a couple of officers were caught red-handed indulging in nefarious activities and the administration quickly shifted them to some non-descript charge. But, so proven are their capabilities that they have been handed over lots of homework related to adjudication of important cases. What if they make a 'virute' out of these activities, the Nhava Sheva Customs committeed to 'seva dharam' does not mind it. Even Mumbai Vigilance which booked them and continues to investigate against them does not mind if they are given weightier jobs. This is indeed the vertex of welfarist style of functioning and perhaps other outfits in the Customs should also borrow a leaf from them!

___________________________________________________ May 4th 2006 Sub: TAUFIK ONCE AGAIN GOES UNDERGROUND; SC COMES TO GOVT'S RESCUE  What is the story here. A big case it is happening like this !! Please read the following article. You might know about this, We would like to get information on this please. TAUFIK ONCE AGAIN GOES UNDERGROUND; SC COMES TO GOVT'S RESCUE By Taxindiaonline News Service NEW DELHI, 13 MAY, 2003: THE EoU fraudster Taufik Haji Gaffar's case has indeed become a saga of administrative machinations, misuse of judicial generosity and pinnacle of connivance. But for the Ministry of Finance which has so far failed to enforce its Cofeposa detention order it is nothing but one after another judicial battle. The latest is that it has gone to the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court stay order and the apex court has responded positively to the SLP by vacating the HC stay on enforcement of the detention order. No sooner the apex court vacated the stay, Taufik who could be seen loitering around in the corridors of Delhi High Court has once again gone underground! And simple excuse resorted to by the Surat Police is that they have no information about him. Probably the Gujarat Police believes that economic offenders like Taufik are expected to walk into their thanas rather than their cops giving him a chase! What prompted the MoF to move the SC was the controversial submission of original grounds of detention which were not served on the accused but were submitted before the Bench. This clearly indicated that there was some leakage from the Cofeposa office. Then the government plea was that the documents submitted were fabricated and not a copy of the original grounds of detention. But the case appeared to be slipping out of the government as two giant legal experts Mr P Chidambram and Mr Ram Jethmalani were holding the fort for Taufik. But then the SC came to the rescue of the Government. However, what sounds mysterious is the fact that the no action has been taken against the officials who may be involved in leaking confidential documents from the the Cofeposa office or elsewhere in the system? This case clearly indicates that though the Government had issued the detention order it never had the willingness to enforce it. No other appears to be pursuing it seriously except for the Mumbai Customs. Even in the Mumbai Customs the senior officials don't appear to be putting their heart and brain behind the case. So Taufik is all set to go down in the history of EoU exports as an uncatchable and unbeatable hero of duty frauds!

___________________________________________________ May 4th, 2006 Sub:   IS COFEPOSA LOSING ITS STING? C D N SINGH CASE IS AN EXAMPLE! WHO IS HELPING all these people at MUMBAI CUSTOMS !!! Please read the following article. You might know about this, We would like to get information on this please.

IS COFEPOSA LOSING ITS STING? C D N SINGH CASE IS AN EXAMPLE!

By Taxindiaonline News Service MUMBAI, 9 DEC : THOUGH Cofeposa is a powerful instrument in the hand of the Central Government to bring notorious duty-evaders and smugglers to book but its poor execution has of late diluted its impact to a large extent. No single agency can be held responsible for its diluted efficacy but none can at the same time escape its contribution to such a pathetic state of affairs. Take the case of Randhir Singh, second son of C D N Singh, who was detained under Cofeposa but later released on the High Court direction. Though the HC had clearly stated that only his continued detention is vitiated but not the detention order per se as it was based on solid material facts, nothing much has been done by the agencies which are expected to attach his property. Though the Competent Authorities have initiated a few steps to attach his plot in Juhu, a flat in Bandra, one Mercedes and one Hyundai Accent car but what has halted them from proceeding is their appeal against the attachment order. The Appellate Tribunal of Forfeited Property based in New Delhi is sitting over this case for more than six months now. Why? None knows. But this delay has indeed given enough opportunity to the accused to lobby for revocation of the detention order! It is very natural for the accused to lobby for it as he believes that he is innocent in this case like his father and elder brother who were also detained under Cofeposa but the same was withdrawn by the MoF after they represented. Sounds weird that though the department took disciplinary action against all those officials who were accused of connivance in this case but the accused themselves were found to be innocent by the MoF topbrass! If this was the case then why was Randhir Singh left out? Since all three were accused of duty evasion and systematic smuggling through their firms, all three should have been tried for the offence. But the MoF in its unusual wisdom decided to revoke it for the two. Now that the Competent Authorities should have moved to attach their property but they also seem to be under pressure not to do so until the tribunal decides the case. Though the tribunal alone cannot be blamed for poor efficacy of this act but its time-taking working style is certainly helping the accused indirectly in terms of giving him an opportunity to lobby through various forces for revocation of the order. Second, debatable inconsistencies can be seen in the MoF decisions in recent cases. Then, very few officials in the field take much pain to pursue the case to a logical end. The only exception one may see is that of Taufiq Hazi Gaffar in which Mumbai Customs seems to be giving its best. It is high time the review process of such cases is made more transparent and the agencies involved in such exercise should definitely take more interest to punish the guilty rather than helping them through their sloppy working style!

The central bureau of investigation (CBI) has initiated an inquiry against three custom officers, including an additional commissioner of the Mumbai airport customs for their alleged nexus with a city-based mobile smuggler. According to senior CBI officials, on September 19, an additional commissioner had detained an import consignment at the Sahar Air Cargo complex when the consignment was being taken out of the airport. The consignment was imported by Andheri based businessman Ajay Agarwal and cleared by appraiser Anand Kumar and examiner Tawro. "The consignment was re-marked for 100% examination by the additional commissioner and taken back to the cargo complex. Though the consignment was detained, it was not opened and a 200 per cent duty was imposed even though the importer had already paid the required duty," explained the senior CBI officer. Meanwhile, the Additional Commissioner (vigilance), P K Das got wind of the consignment lying in the cargo complex for four days and the negotiations of some customs officials with the importer to release the consignment. A vigilance squad was subsequently sent to check the contents of the consignment. "Somehow the officials at the cargo complex got to hear of the vigilance squad coming for the seizure and immediately ordered an inspection of the detained cargo. Over a thousand mobile phones were found concealed in the consignment of mobile accessories and ready-made garments" claimed the CBI officer. A senior Customs official confirmed the CBI inquiry in the case and claimed that the importer Ajay Agarwal was scuttling the investigation to implicate the customs in a false case. "The customs had increased vigilance on the smuggling of mobile phones and electronics leading to several seizures", he said. The CBI investigated the imports between the period of September 19 and 23 during which five other consignments had arrived and were detained. "The investigation resulted in the seizure of 2,800 mobile phones worth Rs 1.5 crore. Inquiries have revealed that thousands of mobile phones are being smuggled under the pretext of import of mobile accessories through fictitious firms," claimed CBI officials. The anti-corruption bureau of the CBI after receiving information about the case has asked for the case-related documents and initiated an inquiry against Additional Commissioner Vinay Chhabda, Customs Appraiser Anand Kumar, Customs Examiner Tawro and others.

___________________________________________________ May3rd 2006 Sub: 18 customs officers transferred for going to Los Angeles // Were any actions taken by Vigilance on  T H K Ghauri,  Gurbans Singh, C Rigzin, // Please read the following article related to Mumbai Customs. I hope the story is true. 18 customs officers transferred for going to Los Angeles    By: Nirmal Mishra    September 23, 2000


Eighteen customs officers who allegedly went on a "pleasure trip" on the excuse of participating in a hockey tournament in Los Angeles in July this year were transferred last week. Top brass of the customs department maintained that these are 'internal routine' transfers. When the officers came back from Los Angeles, a Central Bureau of Investigation team was waiting for them at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Sahar after being allegedly tipped off that some of them would be bringing undeclared goods. Their bags were thoroughly checked and nothing incriminating was found. No panchnama was made and no case was registered. The customs department is peeved that even after S K Malhi, DG, Inspection, had submitted a report two weeks ago clarifying the matter and stating that nothing irregular had been found, these officers have been shunted out. The officers went under the aegis of the Mumbai Veterans Hockey Association and won third place in the tournament. The Guru Nanak Hockey Tournament has been held for the past six years at Los Angeles and teams from all over the world participate in it. For this year's tournament, a 19-member team was selected with Commissioner of Customs, Airport, Yuvraj Gupta as chef-de-mission. Customs sources say permission for the team's participation was taken from the chief commissioner of customs on 29 June, while Gupta and Additional Commissioner T H K Ghauri got additional permission from the Home Ministry under section nine of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976. Documents show that Gupta had paid for the air-tickets to Los Angeles since his wife and son had accompanied him. On the return trip, Gupta's two daughters joined them at London so when they arrived at Mumbai together, the family of five had seven checked-in bags including the golf kit of colleague Hardeep Sandhu since the latter had excess baggage. The CBI did not find anything incriminating in the bags. Regarding the upgrading of his air ticket, Gupta was given the facility as a commercially important person) though Jitendera Bhargava, director, public relations, Air-India, maintained that he would check up if the airline had this facility. Chief Commissioner of Customs D K Acharya despite repeated attempts was not available for comment. Officers transferred include: T H K Ghauri, additional commissioner of customs (to Bhubaneswar), Gurbans Singh, joint-commissioner (to Bholpur in West Bengal),  C Rigzin, deputy commissioner (to  Vishakhapatnam), Steven Ambrose, M R Negi, Murli Agnishwar, Kuldeep S Sandhu, K N Fatterpekar, Romeo Abuqurue, Adolf Colaco, Rahul Singh, H S Sandhu, Rory Fernandes, Suresh Pereira, Errol D’ Silva, Inayat Naqvi, Mukul Pandey and Iqbaljit Singh. nirmalm@mid-day.mailserve.net ___________________________________________________ May 3rd 2006 Sub:  Arrested labourer steals tug boat containing Rs 8 lakh worth of diesel // What is the status of this case? Please read this article and let us know what have you done on this case, http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=2&articleid=522006234439984522006234437375

 

Arrested labourer steals tug boat containing Rs 8 lakh worth of diesel

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3 Responses to “Mumbai Customs Muddle – Articles on MUMBAI CUSTOMS on Corruption, Mismanagement, COVER UP, Conniving with FRAUDSTERS, Not taking actions on CORRUPT officers, Victimisation and Harassment of Whistleblowers,”

  1. baltisingh said

    Good and useful information blog. I learned many things which i did not know for long time.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    Balti Singh, Mumbai ( )

  2. baltisingh said

    Good and useful information blog. I learned many things which i did not know for long time.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    Balti Singh, Mumbai Having Business in Mumbai

  3. ravisuvarna said

    K. Gopal Rao Says:

    Resp.Sir,
    Sub:Police Inaction in the case of house grabbing by Deepak Niranjanath Pandit
    Superitendant of Customs,Air Cargo Complex,Mumbai,brother of producer/Director Ashok Pandith by misusing official power /and connection at high places

    We, Mr&Mrs.K.Gopal Rao aged 75 years and 65 years are the Legal owners of flat no 803 Brookhill Tower,Andheri(w),Mumbai.Mr and Mrs. Deepak Pandit are known to us through Ravi Suvarna who is also Superirendant of Customs ,
    approached to us for temperory shelter for a period of 2-3 months,since in the society in which they stay do not have lift and Mrs Arushi D.Pandit was undergoing a major heart surgery in Leela Hospital and need one bedroom in our flat.Hence,we allowed Mr. Deepak Pandit to stay in our flat with his wife and son(One son is away in angalore),by providing one bed room and allowed them to use common hall and kitchen
    on humanitarian and medical ground with out charging a single rupee.

    In Sept 2007, we visited our native place in Karnataka,and locked other 3 bedrooms apart from which has been used byDeepak Pandit and his wife Arushi Pandit by showing blind faith
    and trust and handed over the keys of main entrance.When we came back from our native place,we found our other two bed rooms locks were broken and the bedrooms have been used
    by Mr.Deepak Pandit and Mrs.Arushi D. Pandit.When we asked about this mischief,Mr Deepak Pandit very rudely replied that we people should vacate the flat along with our belongings.We were
    shocked and surprised after this incident.
    Then we immediatly contacted Ravi Suvarna and Ravi Suvarna contacted Deepak Pandit about vacating the flat.He bluntlydenied to vacate the flat and also threatened with dire consequences and that his brother Mr Ashok Pandit is a very influential political person,and Deepak pandit himself is a Custom Officer and by virtue of his position/post he will grab our flat.
    Further we approached to one/two reputed persons in the society and narrated the things which have been going on and requested them to mediate the dispute.He refused to meet the
    persons and asked us to pay Rs 10 lakh otherwise he will not vacate the flat .At the same time he mentioned that we will see how he will grab our flat.

    Recently we have come to know that other than his house in
    Juhu (no 214)juhu Shantivan co-operative Housing Society,bldg
    no 13,gulmohar cross road no 6,Andheri(w),he has got one house
    at Takur Complex, kandivili(E),and one at Andheri(E). He has rented
    out all these houses and took shelter at our place on sympathetic/humanitarian grounds.

    We have approached the oshiwara police and lodged written complaints dtd 4/10/07 and 28/02/08 but to no avail.Police have threatened to arrest our grand daughter if she doesn’t vacate the house and she was forced to leave the house at 0400 AM on 05/10/07(By SI Gaikwad,Kadam on the instruction of the PI Sonawane of Oshiwada Police Station).As we are old
    aged and can not run from pillar to post,I kindly request yourgoodselves to Publish this issue on your Paper because this kind of acts by people by misusing the legal provisions to their advantage and grabbing only shelter of senior citizens by taking the help of police and security staffof the building.This is nothing but breach of trust and they know that if it goes to court it will take years together.These kind of issues should be debated and people should be educated about this kind of offences/crimes(misuse of legal provisions) which were probably made to safeguard poor tenants

    We kindly request your goodselves to take up the matter so that people will get educated about such kind of abuse of legal provisions and also wrong people who misuse the provisions of law to their advantage which were made to safeguard the weeker sections by using official power and connection at high places.As we are old aged and can not run from pillar to post,We kindly request you to publish in your paper after investigating the case and being convinced as an issue(House grabbing).He has made an extra(double) door in our absence and now he is not allowing us to enter the house with the help of Oshiwada police.If a public servant can behave like a goon and grab only house of senior citizens then we are in the same age old tradition of slavery.(We are ready to produce any kind od evidence reg the fact that he is forcefully/illegally stying in our house).He has not got any papers/reciepts

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr.&Mrs. K.Gopal Rao.
    76/41,14th cross,PadmanabhaNagar,
    Bangalore-70
    Cell No 09343952727
    So many people have suffered or lost their houses due to this kind of planned tactics(Khabja). If you publish the article/News,it will definately help people who go to help people innocently and get trapped.I hope there should be amendments in the legal provisions to safeguard genuine cases.As the legal process takes years together and culprits enjoy the possession merrily.Here the system(Law and order/police and legal system has also to be blamed).If things like this continues people will lose humanity and stop helping even in genuine cases.Please help us atleast in educating(legalities) people about this Khabja

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