The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested the director of an edible oil company for allegedly evading customs duty by misusing the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) agreement.
“Sunil Kumar Gupta, Director and main operator of M/s Kanpur Edibles Pvt. Ltd, was arrested on Monday in Kanpur under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962. He is accused of an offence punishable under Customs Act, 1962,” read a DRI statement.
The agency found that a syndicate of rogue importing firms were engaged in importing edible oils such as refined palm oil and soyabean oil from Bangladesh through different land customs stations (LCSs) of West Bengal, by misusing the agreement on SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) with an intent to evade customs duty. Intelligence suggested that the Indian importers have imported such edible oil consignments from non-SAFTA countries routed through Bangladesh.
If edible oil is imported from non-SAFTA countries, it attracts basic customs duty of 54 per cent along with social welfare surcharge (SWS) of 10 per cent, apart from applicable IGST. However, if imported from SAFTA countries, basic customs duty and SWS are waived.
“7 live consignments containing 771.935 MT of imported refined palm olien, cumulatively valued at Rs 4.55 crore, has been seized. Consignments imported in the past involving duty of around Rs. 45.62 crore are under investigation,” said a DRI official on condition of anonymity.
Gupta was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Kanpur on Tuesday, which granted a transit remand for him to be produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Calcutta.