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The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) unearthed hawala transactions by at least three companies exporting dry coconut or copra.
The three firms — KBN General Trading Company, MN Enterprise and Rajasthan Agro Product, based in Mumbai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad — were illegally availing extra benefits on export of dry coconut to Pakistan and some Middle-East countries by declaring inflated values of the consignments. The overvalued remittances by these firms were sent through Dubai, official sources said.
According to a source, the DRI conducted searches in the offices and godowns of the three companies in Navi Mumbai, Jaipur and Ahmedabad on July 16 and found incriminating documents pertaining to overvaluation of their exports.
“Investigations have revealed that the overvalued remittances were routed from Dubai and these companies have admitted to it as well. The export data reveals that the companies have been indulging in such exports for three years,” said a source.
Under current norms, the government offers incentives of 6 per cent on copra exports. While 1 per cent of it is provided through duty drawback by the customs department, the remaining 5 per cent is provided through duty credit scrips issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS).
“Four live consignments of KBN General Trading that were about to be exported on inflated values were seized at Nhava Sheva port at JNTP. The companies have accepted that they indulged in overvaluation and have paid Rs 3.5 crore so far towards undue benefits availed by them on such exports,” said a source.
The export of coconut and coconut products (excluding coir and coir products) increased by 11 per cent to Rs 1,450.24 crore in 2015-16, according to the Coconut Development Board. Between April, 2015 and September, 2015, India’s dry coconut exports stood at 7,700 tonnes, of which 7,289 tonnes was imported by Pakistan.
From 2011 to 2013, copra exports to Pakistan from India have doubled to at least 21,000 tonnes. Pakistan purchases copra round the year for consumption as edible dry fruit.