Customs officials have busted a scam at VOC port in Tuticorin where a gang managed to earn Rs 12 crore by claiming drawback duty without exporting anything. Five people were arrested on last Wednesday.
A number of private companies in Hosur, registered as textile units, used to claim incentives for exports done, though no material actually move out. They have just managed to get username and password of
These companies are now under government scanner as it is now suspected that the fake company owners were hand-in-glove with customs officials at Inland Container Depots (ICD) and Container Freight Stations (CFS) in the port area.
Duty drawback is a government incentive for exporters, an 8%-10% rebate of all the duty paid from the time goods are manufactured till they are sent out. This is deposited into their bank accounts based on the Import Export Code (IEC) as soon as the container is cleared for export by a CFS or ICD. Sources say this is the first time such a modus operandi has been detected. “In earlier recorded cases, exporters would send garbage, but declare it as valuable goods and get the drawback. This is the first time drawback is being claimed without exporting anything,” said a top source.
In this case, the gang managed to get the User ID and password at the St Johns Inland Container Depot near Thoothukudi port and enter details of non-existent export goods based on which the drawback duty was received. “This is why there is a strong suspicion of collusion of customs officials, a few of whom have been transferred. There is a Government of India directive that the password should not be shared with anyone,” a source said.