More than 1100 cylinders of ozone depleting gas seized

Official sources said that based on specific inputs, the DRI recently seized 1,139 cylinders, weighing 13.6 kg each, of illegally imported R-22, a Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS).
The consignment, intercepted in the national capital, was falsely declared to contain R-134a, which is a non-ODS refrigerant.

R-22, which is used as a cheaper substitute for the more expensive but cleaner gases in appliances like AC and refrigerators, is a restricted item and can only be imported with a license from the Director General of Foreign Trade.

Sources said that though no arrests have been made yet in this connection, the Directorate has tracked down the original importer of the consignment and investigations are on.The cylinders, imported from a middle-east country, were seized for contravention of the Foreign Trade Policy and the Customs Act.

As per the Montreal Protocol, R-22 gas is a restricted item and can only be imported from a country which is a signatory to it.

The R-22 is a restricted item as it affects the ozone layer resulting in more direct and harmful sunlight.Meanwhile, the DRI which today released its six-month report said it has issued 255 show cause notices in cases involving customs duty amounting to Rs 2,637 crore between April-September this year.

In the same period, DRI has also detected 193 cases of "outright" smuggling and seized narcotics and other contraband like ketamine and ephedrine, besides environmentally sensitive commodities worth Rs 243 crore.Since April this year, DRI has also seized fake Indian currency notes having face value of Rs 1.42 crore.The report said 200 cases of commercial fraud involving customs duty estimated at Rs 489 crore have also been detected

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