The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked a freight forwarder for allegedly demanding a bribe from a businessman for getting his consignment of high frequency electric spark machines cleared from the Air Cargo Complex (ACC).
Accused demanded RS 20,000 as bribe
According to the CBI, a complaint was received on Tuesday from the proprietor of a Pune-based company, alleging that the accused, Rajesh Rane, has demanded a bribe of Rs20,000 for getting his consignment cleared from ACC on behalf of the freight examiner.
The complainant further said that his company is into the business of importing high frequency electric spark machines from China for the last two years and selling the same in the local market in India. Till date, he had been importing the same goods, which were cleared by Customs authorities without any problem.
Accused said imported goods by businessman needed certificate
“As usual, he used the same nomenclature for declaring the goods this time as well. However, Rane informed him that the Custom Officer, who is examining the goods, said that the goods so imported are actually welding machines and they need to have some kind of certificate for importing them,” said a CBI official.
Rane further informed the complainant that in absence of the certificates, machines will not be allowed to be cleared without bribing the Customs Officer. Rane informed that if the complainant would pay him a bribe, he can ask the Customs Officer concerned to clear the consignment. The erring official said that the Customs officer demanded a Rs20,000 bribe. Later, the demand was finally settled for Rs12,000.
The proprietor then approached the CBI requesting them to initiate an action. The complaint was verified in the presence of independent witnesses. Prima facie, it appeared that Rane made a demand of Rs12,000, but the role of freight examiner could not be conclusively established during verification proceedings, officials said.