Mumbai: Five get jail terms upto three years for customs duty evasion

A special CBI court here has convicted five persons and a private firm in a case of evasion of customs duty of Rs 4.72 crore.

Snehalata Jaiswal, Ramesh Suraj Singh, Kiran Cheulkar, Babulal Sanghavi, Suresh Kumar and the firm were found guilty of offences under the IPC including conspiracy, cheating and forgery on Wednesday.

Jaiswal was sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 3.80 crore.

Singh, Cheulkar and Sanghavi are to undergo two years' rigorous imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 4.50 lakh, while Jain has been awarded one year's imprisonment with a fine of Rs 3 lakh.

A fine of Rs 3 lakh was also imposed on the accused firm.

The CBI had registered the case in September 1999.

The accused, in connivance with an officer of customs department, Navi Mumbai,obtained 18 `Duty Entitlement Pass Book' (DEPB) scrips from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Mumbai for duty-free import in the name of four fictitious companies by submitting forged shipping bills and bank realising certificates.

It caused a loss of Rs 4.72 crore to the exchequer.

S Abhinav Singh, the accused customs officer, was absconding and was arrested later. In March 2020 he was sentenced to 16 months' simple imprisonment with fine of Rs 9 lakh.

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