Mumbai: Director gets 3 years jail and Rs 3.8 crore fine in 1999 fraud case

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, on Wednesday, sentenced a company director to three years rigorous imprisonment and a hefty fine of Rs 3.8 crore in a cheating case that caused a loss of over Rs 4 crore to the exchequer in 1997-1998.

Along with Snehalata Jaiswal, the convicted director, on whom the hefty penalty was imposed, her company M/s. KMX Syntex Private Limited was ordered to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. Her accomplices and co-accused Ramesh Singh, Kiran Cheulkar and Pradeep Sanghavi were sentenced to two years jail and a total fine of Rs 4.5 lakh each. Another accomplice was sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of Rs 3 lakh.

Initially, the crime was registered upon a complaint by the then additional commissioner of customs in 1999 against the company and eight accused. Amongst the accused was Snehalata Jaiswal’s husband Samdarshi Jaiswal, who died pending trial. A customs official Abhinav Singh, who was absconding for almost two decades and against whom the chargesheet was filed in 2019, was convicted separately. Another co-accused is still absconding.

As per the CBI case registered in 2002, there was fraud in the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB). 18 DEPB scribs had been obtained for duty-free import from the office of Joint Directorate General of Foreign Trade in Mumbai and New Delhi. These were in the name of fictitious companies by submitting forged shipping bills and other documents to the directorate. As per the complaint, 41 shipping bills were noted, but no exports had been effected against these bills. The signatures of the custom officials had been forged. These forged shipping bills were used to get 18 DEPB scribs. The company had sold these scribs to various parties, which in turn utilised them for duty-free import of goods to the tune of over Rs 4 crore, thus causing a loss to the exchequer.

The convicted co-accused of the director had played the role of encashing the cheques or pay orders issued to the fictitious companies through their accounts in exchange for commission. The rest of the amount had been channelled back to the couple.

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