CBI registers smuggling FIR against 3 customs officers

CBI registers smuggling FIR against three customs officers

The officials allegedly facilitated the illegal export of red sanders

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against three customs officers, two private individuals and others in connection with the smuggling of red sanders on December 22. 

The FIR was registered after a preliminary enquiry was conducted based on a complaint filed by the Principal Commissioner of Customs, Airport and Air Cargo Complex, Kempegowda International Airport, in September 2021. 

The FIR names two superintendents of customs — Venkatesh C and Ananthapadmanabha Rao K — inspector of customs Ravinder Pawar, private persons Satish Kumar T, Nazeeb Z and others. 

The officials allegedly facilitated the illegal export of red sanders. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had registered a case against the officials and seized 3,293 kg of red sanders on July 29. The officials allegedly helped the customs house agent, Satish Kumar T, in the illegal export of red sanders. 

The CBI enquiry found that Nazeeb struck a deal with Venkatesh through suspended custom house agent Kumar to grant clearance to transport red sanders for money. Between June and July, Nazeeb gave seven shipments of red sanders. 

The first shipment was declared as industrial pump spares, for which on-duty official Pawar had received Rs 12,000 from Suresh T, a clearance executive who helped Kumar. On the night Pawar received the Rs 5-lakh bribe during the X-ray scanning of shipments, he informed that the money is for him and Rao to avoid legal action. 

Similarly, the other officer and private persons falsely declared the red sanders as construction materials and attempted to smuggle the red sanders worth more than Rs 6 crore to Dubai. They changed the logistics for each shipment and gave different addresses and different dates. They had not subjected these shipments to open examination or scanning by ground and cargo handling agency, Air India Sats. 

Forest officials tested the logs and declared them to be red sanders on July 29. Since the enquiry revealed the officials had received bribes from Satish on behalf of Nazeeb, the FIR was registered. The three officials were suspended after their illegal activity surfaced in July.

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