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
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 !!
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.
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)
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
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
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!
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
|DRI unearths 100-cr scam at JNPT port|
|Saturday, July 16, 2005 | City|
|Evidence shows cosy nexus between smugglers and customs officials|
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 <email@example.com> wrote:
F.No.: II/39(Vig)RTI-02/2006-07 Mumabi, the 24th April, 2006.
Shri V.M. Kumaraswamy
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.
Additional Director General