Based on specific intelligence relating to illegal imports of Areca Nuts into the country, by way of concealment with copra expeller cake (cover cargo), officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Nellore and Vijayawada, visited Krishnapatnam Port and verified imports made by two importers in eight containers from 10th to 12th May 2020.
On detailed examination it was found that the importers declared 156 MT of “Coconut Expeller Cake” for import into the country. However, only 43 Mt is as per the declared Cargo, i.e, “Coconut Expeller Cake”. Remaining 113 MT is actually “Areca Nuts” of 90/95 grade of Indonesian Origin on which customs duty evaded works out to 3.25 Cr. “Areca Nuts” attract Customs duty of 100% and its value is far higher than Coconut Expeller Cake. When the containers were examined, first two rows in the containers were loaded with Coconut Expeller Cake and the remaining rows were loaded with Areca nuts. Hence, it appears that the importers using “Coconut Expeller Cake” as a cover cargo to illegally import “Areca Nuts”.
The masterminds were intercepted in Kerala with help of Cochin Police, CGST officers of Cochin and DRI officers of Cochin. It is noticed that in the past also the said importers have resorted to this kind of modus and smuggled in about 150 MT of Areca nuts. As the Areca nuts have been attempted to be smuggled into India in contravention of provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 the same were seized under Customs Act, 1962.