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RAMESH KUMAR VERMA (pursuing company secretary course)     07 August 2013

Customs official probing jewellery importers shunted

Customs official probing jewellery importers shunted

MUMBAI: A customs official has been transferred in less than 45 days into his posting. Assistant commissioner of customs KiranKarlapu (27) had started an inquiry against 253 jewellery importers for evading duty. His transfer order was issued on Monday.

Karlapu, a 2010 Indian Revenue Service officer, had recovered Rs 6.5 crore in duty in the past three weeks and was in the process of issuing notices to some of the jewellery importers. The total duty evaded in the past five years by the importers is estimated to be Rs 108 crore.

Chief commissioner of customs B R Vasudev said there was nothing unusual about the transfer, though it came within two months of a posting. "This happens sometimes."

Karlapu, attached to the precious cargo clearance centre (PCCC), a sensitive posting, had found forged documents showing imports of gold jewellery from Thailand. The duty on gold import from that country is 1% because of a free trade agreement with India compared to 10% for import from other countries. "The duty evasion exposed a nexus between customs officials, importers and customs house agents," an official said.

PCCC was formed for expeditious clearance of gem and jewellery meant for import and export. The total volume in terms of money handled this year was around Rs 1.25 lakh crore.

Karlapu was also planning a first-time audit of private bonded warehouses where imported jewellery and precious stones meant for export are stored. "The processes here are manual and open to manipulation. There is a question mark about the probe now," another official said.

Vipul Shah, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said some members had complained about harassment by customs officials. "But no one complained against Karlapu. Some members have misused the scheme. But genuine members should not suffer. We discussed the issue with officials in Delhi."

There was a tiff between Vasudev and the then customs commissioner P M Saleem over Karlapu's posting. Karlapu took charge at PCCC in June last week on Saleem's orders; Vasudev had already posted another officer. Both continued working in the same unit, but Karlapu's job descripttion was significant. When asked about the matter, Vasudev said, "All are good officers."


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 1 Replies

Adv k . mahesh (advocate)     07 August 2013

sincere officers fate is hanging in the air with the help of politicians like in the U.P case also same was happened 

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