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Articles – MUMBAI CUSTOMS office on CORRUPTION and MISMANGEMENT and COVERUP

Posted by egovindia on May 28, 2006

Articles – MUMBAI CUSTOMS office on CORRUPTION and MISMANGEMENT and COVERUP

 May 1st 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: Did MUMBAI CUSTOMS NEEDED ADVICE TO FACE ADVISORY BOARD ?

Please read the following article and it talks about COFEEPOSA Advisory Board. I hope this story is real !!

MUMBAI CUSTOMS NEEDS ADVICE TO FACE ADVISORY BOARD

WITH the arrest of EoU fraudster Taufiq Haji Gaffar the Cofeposa Advisory Board is scheduled to meet to take a view on this issue. Going by the fact that the original grounds of his detention were leaked and misused by him and the apex court has vacated the Delhi HC stay on enforcement of detention and that is how his arrest came, the Mumbai Customs should be in a comfortable position. But, going by the discussions at the higher echelons in Mumbai Customs it appears that all the facts related to how Taufiq had tried to seek relief from various High Courts but was denied by all, are unlikely to be brought to the notice of the Board. How the department has also failed to fix the accountability for leakage of secret documents to the offender. But given that the matter is being heard at both the Supreme Court as well as High Court levels, the Advisory Board's verdict could be a fait accompli.

___________________________

May 1st 2006

Sub:   IS VIGILANCE IN MUMBAI CUSTOMS A NEGLECTED OUTFIT! ?? What is happenning to Mumbai Customs Department ?

Please read the following article. Again related to Mumbai Customs. WE HAVE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS. We want to find out more information for this and what types of action you have taken on the officers and corrective measures your department has taken.

http://www.taxindiaonline.com/RC2/subCatDesc.php3?subCatDisp_Id=70&filename=pitara/insider/inside3.htm#015

VIGILANCE IN MUMBAI CUSTOMS A NEGLECTED OUTFIT!

HOW seriously the concept of vigilance is taken by the CBEC can be seen from the staffing pattern of Mumbai Zonal Office. Given that almost 23 per cent of its total strength happens to be in Mumbai, it has only a handful of officers posted there in the Vigilance office which is expected to keep an eye on such a large area starting from Nhava Sheva to Mulund and the seven Central Excise Commissionerates. One of the reasons for poor staffing of this office is that senior officers themselves want to keep skeleton staff there so that even if they keep an eye on one area the absolute freedom could be enjoyed in other areas. If the vigilance team makes a visit to that area next day, the players often shift to the other area. Then comes the decision to staff this outfit. First, a lot of homework goes into selecting people fit for posting there. Second, even if one or two are short listed, senior officers tend to delay their relieving. A simple inquiry into the office of the Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai I, would reveal the story that for how long the list of candidates selected by the DG, Vigilance, has been pending but nothing moves there. There are chances that the CC may not be aware of this but he needs to revamp his secretariat as it appears that a lot of vested interests is controlling that place which is not in the larger interests of revenue.

______________________

Sub: PCGT TRIES TO MAKE VIGILANCE AWARENESS WEEK A MORE MEANINGFUL EXERCISE.

_________________________________

PCGT TRIES TO MAKE VIGILANCE AWARENESS WEEK A MORE MEANINGFUL EXERCISE

By TIOL News Service

MUMBAI, NOV 13 : FOR most government departments, Vigilance Awareness Week which just got over was a routine and mundane annual affair. But not for the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) – a public initiative to fight against corruption. It organised a function in association with CVC and ACB of Maharashtra Government where the audiences were addressed by Dr Janaki Ballabh, J F Ribeiro, Dr R K Anand and Dr P S Pasricha.

On this occasion, the PCGT gave away 2004 Navleen Kumar Award to five persons for their exemplary work in making a serious dent into the rapidly-fattening monster of corruption. Mumbai Cusoms Superintendent Mr V B Singh is one of the awardees this year. He was chosen for detecting the massive fraud of Surat-based EoUs.

The Public Concern for Governance Trust was founded in May 2001. The trust is Registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950.

PCGT strives to promote good governance and check corruption through honesty, transparency and accountability. The Trust has a strong and active Board comprising of retired civil servants, social workers and professionals, all of whom have a keen interest in, and dedication for change.

The current Board of Trustees are :

Mr. B.G. Deshmukh (Chairman)
Mr. J.F.Ribeiro (Executive Chairman)
Dr. R.K. Anand (Managing Trustee)


Other Trustees:

Mr. Satish Sahney
Mr. Dara Gandhy
Mr. Chander Uday Singh
Mr. R. H. Mendonca
Hon. Secretary: Mr. Adil Patuck

PCGT organized the Navleen Kumar Award Function to honour the work undertaken by the late social activist Smt. Navleen Kumar, who fought for the land rights of poor and deprived tribals. Navleen was brutally murdered on the terrace of her building on June 19, 2002. For the year 2003, the award was given posthumously to Smt. Navleen Kumar. A citation and a cash award was handed over to her son Neel, studying in Mumbai.

____________________________

Re: What action have you taken on SURAT EXCISE REBATE SCAM : MOF TOPBRASS GRANTS NO REBATE TO 46 OFFICERS; ORDERS SUSPENSION OF 42 OFFICERS; FOUR TRANSFERRED OUT // Did you SUSPEND any one ? Who was the Investigating Officer in Vigilance of this Surat Case
SURAT EXCISE REBATE SCAM : MOF TOPBRASS GRANTS NO REBATE TO 46 OFFICERS; ORDERS SUSPENSION OF 42 OFFICERS; FOUR TRANSFERRED OUT

By TIOL News Service

AHMEDABAD, DEC 3 : EVERY scam carries worms of destruction in its own
womb. And this is what has happened even in the case of Surat Central
Excise Commissionerate-I. The CBEC has finally granted no
administrative rebate to all those officers who are either suspected
to be involved or administratively reponsible for the multi-crore
excise rebate scam. In a decision which may lead the investigation to reach some conclusive stage later, the MoF top brass has given
instructions to the concerned Chief Commissioner and Commissioners to suspend as many as 42 officers of the ranks of Superintendent and Inspectors.

Four Group A officers have also been transferred in this connection
(See order given below). At a later date they are also likely to be
placed under suspension for their failure or suspected partial
involvement in this case. Out of 42 officers, two each are from Vapi
and Daman and the rest 38 are from Surat I.

Interestingly, highly-placed sources told TIOL that all these
suspensions are related to Rs 12.5 crore scam brought to the notice
of the Board from Surat I Commissionerate alone. A proper
investigation is pending against other Commissionerates. Then, the
moot question arises that what about those officers who may be
involved in old cases. This Rs 12.5 crore case is only for this year.
But the scam has been going on for the past two years but none
bothered to stop it. The dimension of the scam in Surat II and other
neighbouring Commissionerates could be more horrendous.

Then comes the question of what is CBEC doing to detect similar scams
in other Commissionerates in other cities. This modus operandi of
faking shipping bills and diverting goods may have spread to various
other cities as these scamsters normally have wider network and once
get caught at one place they simply move to other cities. Since the
Department has been pathetically slow in responding to this emergency
situation, a proper probe may unearth similar scams at other places.

Worse, though the department is learnt to have arrested more than 35
persons in this connection but no recovery has been made. The focus
of the preventive effort should be to recover the revenue lost rather
than putting them behind the bars. Since no revenue has been
recovered it tends to indicate that there are bigger sharks involved
in the case and the department has not made any effort to reach up to
them. Unless their financial backbone is broken these sharks would be
able to hire a battery of lawyers and may escape the dragnet of law.

Besides, the lapse on part of the field formations, the CBEC also
cannot escape from its own share of blame. It needs to examine the
scheme and take adequate measures to plug the loopholes so that
similar scams do not take place again. But, is there going to be any
policy change in the coming weeks?

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise and Customs

Dated: December 2, 2004

OFFICE ORDER NO 215/2004

Following transfers & postings in the grade of Deputy/Assistant
Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise are hereby ordered with
immediate effect and until further orders

1. Shri G.S. Purohit, Deputy Commissioner from Surat Central Excise
to Dibrugarh, Central Excise
2. Shri A.K. Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner from Surat Central Excise
to DGICCE, Delhi
3. Shri M.P. Solanki, Assistant Commissioner from Surat Central
Excise to Kolkata, Central Excise
4. Shri Dharmendra Singh, Assistant Commissioner from Surat Central
Excise to Vishakhapatnam, Central Excise

(P.SASIKUMAR)
For/Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

__________________________________________________

Customs officer goes scot-free


This news story has appeared on 14.04.2006 in page # 5 of Mumbai Edition of Times of India.

Customs officer goes scot-free

By Pranati Mehra/TNN


Mumbai: Despite the corruption charge brought by an US company against a customs appraiser being proved, the department has not taken any action against the erring officer. 

The officer was posted in the GATT valuation cell of Mumbai customs. In December 2005, he allegedly demanded Rs 50,000 from the customs house agent (CHA) of the US firm, N G Joshi Clearing and Forwarding Pvt Ltd, just to hand over a copy of a valuation order with regard to certain imports made by the company. The order was passed by a deputy commissioner and all that the appraiser was required to do was to pass it on to the CHA. The firm refused to cough up the money and instead complained to the vigilance wing of the customs, which confirmed the charge. When the appraiser got wind of the probe, he quietly posted the order to the company. 

Despite the charge being found to be true, no action has been taken against the appraiser, who is now working in the bond and bank guarantees section of the customs. The probe also revealed that in another case too he had held back the valuation order. 

The central vigilance commissioner?s instructions in this regard are clear: In serious cases of corruption the officer must be suspended. But these instructions are reportedly being flouted with impunity by the customs department here. Both the chief commissioner, K M Tiwari and commissioner (general) N Sasidharan were unavailable for comment.

__________________________

Sub: IS MUMBAI CUSTOMS' CIU GETTING SUFFOCATED BY CC UNIT CUSTODIANS! ?? // What is happening to this file ?? // Who was the champion of the CC Unit who put noting 'Reorient & redraft' the show cause notice in the file ?? //

Please read the following article. We hope this is not a made up story. Otherwise you would have taken action against the person who reported this story.

MUMBAI CUSTOMS' CIU GETTING SUFFOCATED BY CC UNIT CUSTODIANS!

IT can happen only in Mumbai Customs. Though the CC unit has nothing to do with the investigation but the champions of this unit, contrary to the Chief Commissioner's desire, never mind putting thier noting on the file : 'Reorient & redraft' the show cause notice. This is the story of import of a yatch made under EPCG scheme by the Indian Hotels Corporation of Tata Group. Given that the import of second-hand capital goods is not allowed, having got intelligence the CIU of Mumbai Customs launched a probe and went to the extent of summoning even the high-profile MD of the company Mr Krishan Kumar. Then began a race to bail out the company and some high-profile men who were to be questioned in the case. And even before an SCN could be issued in this Rs one crore case (file No CIU-GEN-47/2002), some forces called for the file and made some noting and also gave some verbal instructions. Going purely by the procedures, the CC unit has nothing to do with a case under investigation but it did manage to expand its official ambit and did what normally a Customs Officer would not do! But it was done and many senior officers are aware of this issue but efforts are more geared towards bailing out people rather than recovering revenue! Worse, even CIU officials have been behaving too meekly and allowing many outsiders to poach on thier working and domain. As a result, some of the officials who had joined this unit with strong commitment later developed cold feet and ran away to other offices for much greener pastures.
_______________________________

Sub: Did Nhava Sheva, Mumbai Custom House and CFS Mulund Customs officials help fraudsters ? WHAT action have you taken on these Customs Officials ? Who are those officials ??

Rs 300 crore EXCISE REBATE SCAM UNEARTHED IN SURAT BUT CBEC TOPBRASS YET TO ACT AGAINST CONNIVING OFFICIALS!

http://www.taxindiaonline.com/RC2/inside2.php3?filename=bnews_detail.php3&newsid
=167&PHPSESSID=676941f326a4b526a5884505a209f820

By TIOL News Service

SURAT, NOV 18 : EVERY revenue scam exposes the inadequacy in the existing monitoring mechanism. And this is what can be abundantly seen in the recently-detected excise rebate scam of more than Rs 300 crore! What makes it more glaring and smells of deep-rooted connivance of not only junior but even some of senior revenue officials is its genesis in the year 2002-03 and the improvised modus operani.

Taking undue advantage of non-computerised CFS Mulund (TIOL had earlier predicted its scam potential in a series of articles), a large number of exporters forged the genuine shipping bills by simply putting their names and allowing other details to remain the same and went on availing excise rebate for exports of man made fabrics.

Though about 10 of such exporters have been arrested by the Preventive so far but the fact remains that these exporters had obtained IEC from jurisdictional DGFT office by furnishing fake addresses and continued to claim rebate by churing out bogus documents having signature of customs officers.

It is learnt that with the help of Nhava Sheva, Mumbai Custom House and CFS Mulund Customs officials these fraudsters continued to outshine notorious Taufiq of EoU scam. And, with the help of shroffs they continued to encash their cheques at discounted rates. Sources

In Surat I Commissionerate alone, the total such rebate sanctioned is in the range of Rs 96 crore last year and more than Rs 86 crore this year so far. The fraud came to be detected when it was seen that the revenue realised from man made fabrics was much lower than the rebate sanctioned. This indeed alarmed several senior revenue officials and then a probe began.

Though the actual dimension of the fraud is yet to quantified by a rough estimate pegs it at more than Rs 300 crore, including Surat II and other neighbouring commissionerates. And what indicates excise officials' connivance is the blatantly fake documents and shipping bills which also indicate the period of exports after the rebate was claimed but none in the department looked into it.

It is learnt that the Directorate of Vigilance is seized of the matter and the Board may take some harsh decisions soon. Though the scam was detected five months and the on-going investigation has unearthed shocking dimension of the scam what is CBEC topbrass waiting for before ordering suspension of some of the obvious conniving ones is not known. But the Finance Minister, who believes that the revenue saved from scam is revenue earned, may take a decision soon.
______________________________________________

Sub: "Rs 100 crore scam at the JNPT port in Nava Sheva" //  DRI unearths 100-cr scam at JNPT port //

Please go through this report. This is not made up story. As per Right to Information Act 2005, We are asking for DETAILED information on this report of DRI.

DRI unearths 100-cr scam at JNPT port

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/search/mmsearch.asp?query=&sectid=2&articleid=71520052320357817152005232015859&pubyear=2005&pubday=16&pubmth=7 

DRI unearths 100-cr scam at JNPT port
Saturday, July 16, 2005 | City
Evidence shows cosy nexus between smugglers and customs officials
Ashish Khetan
After the Chhota Rajan arms haul, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has unearthed a Rs 100 crore scam at the JNPT port in Nava Sheva involving smugglers in league with customs officers. As many as 45 cases have come to the fore in which customs officers generated shipping bills and export orders for consignments that existed only on paper in the last six months. The documents for the bogus exports were generated to get drawbacks from the government and thus earn money. The government gives a drawback of 7 per cent on the value of exported items. ?At this stage I can only say that we have launched the investigations into these fake exports and will share the findings with you at an appropriate time,? said DRI Deputy Director Yashodhan Wange to Mumbai Mirror.Sources said the investigation was launched in the second week of June and the DRI is under pressure to soft-peddle it as heads of dozens of officers, up to the level of assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners, could roll if the probe is taken to its logical conclusion. Incidentally, neither the Customs department nor the DRI has fixed responsibility on any official for the arms haul seized in May. Sources said a Let Export Orders (LEO), hundreds of which have been generated from the port during past six months, is issued only after the instructions of an assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner. For exporting a consignment an exporter has to first submit his papers to a clerk. The papers are examined by a superintendent or a preventive officer. They are then checked by an assistant commissioner or a deputy commissioner following which a LEO is issued. After that, the shipping agent ?stuffs? the goods in the container under the supervision of a customs official following which the container is sealed and ready for the export. The fact that the smugglers succeeded in getting all the documents, points towards a nexus of fraudsters and customs officers at every level.

Customs officers generated shipping bills and export orders for consignments that existed only on paper in the last six months

______________________________________

mail2vigilance <mail2vigilance@indiatimes.com> wrote:

F.No.: II/39(Vig)RTI-02/2006-07 Mumabi, the 24th April, 2006.

Shri V.M. Kumaraswamy

Gentleman,

Please refer to your e-mail dated 16.04.2006, in response to this office letter /e-mail dated 13.04.2006, on the above subject.
2. It appears that the reply of this office vide letter /e-mail dated 13.04.2006 has not been understood by you. It is therefore requested that you may please visit this office on any working day, convenient to you, for further clarifications.
3. Your e-mail revels a high regard for transparency. It is requested that transparency on the following may please be shown:
(i) Do you have the copy of the complaint purportedly sent by Shri Ravinder Kumar, referred to in your e-mail. If so, please inform as to from whom did you get this copy ?
(ii) If you do not have the copy, please inform as to from where and from whom did you get the contents which have been produced in your e-mail?
4. It is further observed that your e-mail dated 16.04.2004 mentions about certain details which are not mentioned in the contents of the complaint purportedly sent by Shri Ravinder Kumar. In view of the same, it is requested that transparency on the following may please be shown:
(i) What makes you say hat Shri V.B. Singh was allowed to join Vigilance due to the case of Taufik Haji Gaffar and he was entrusted to investigate one of the most sensitive case i.e. Surat Rebate case, by me ?
(ii) What do you understand by "CIU'? What makes you think that it is Deputy Commissioner of CIU who should have invoked COFEPOSA?
(iii) How and from whom did you get to know that the then Deputy Commissioner of CIU is working in this office or otherwise?
(iv) Please send the copy of the article which says that Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) V.H. Bathija on 07.03.2001 arrested TAUFIK. How and from whom did you get to know that Mr. V.H. Bathija is working in this office or otherwise?

5. Similarly, in your e-mail dated 19.04.2006, you have mentioned about one Alok Garg who has submitted forged/false/invalid certificate of ex-serviceman to claim age relaxation to join service. However, nothing has been mentioned about as to who Alok Garg is, in which department Alok Garg is working. Please inform as to how and from whom did you get to know that this office is investigating or not investigating Alok Garg or otherwise?
6. It is further requested that documentary or other evidences that may be available with you to establish that the allegations against Shri V.B. Singh, made in the complaint purportedly sent by Shri Ravinder Kumar, are false, may also please be sent to this office.

Yours faithfully,

(NEERJA SHAH)
Additional Director General

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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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