A special CBI court has sentenced a businessman to six years of rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 10.2 crore in a 2003 case related to customs duty fraud by submitting forged export documents.
Apart from businessman Krishan Kumar Kacharulal Gupta (62), the court sentenced another main beneficiary in the crime Sudhir Brihaspati Mandal of Vijay Trading Co to undergo three years RI with a fine of Rs 3 lakh.
Former Bank of India officials — Vasant M. Parkhe and Sunil Bhujangrao Jadhav were also awarded one year RI with a fine of Rs one lakh, the probe agency said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the CBI, Gupta and Mandal along with customs and bank officials entered into a criminal conspiracy, stating that their objective was to cheat the union government by dishonestly claiming customs duty drawback from the customs department by submitting forged export documents.
The accused used 11 fictitious firms to prepare false export documents in their names and 26 Customs Duty Drawback cheques of more than Rs 2 crore was obtained. These cheques were drawn on RBI, Mumbai, and issued by Customs Department in the names of said fictitious firms and were deposited in Bank of India, Cotton Exchange Branch, Mumbai in the account of M/s Vijay Trading Co.
The said duty drawback amount was fraudulently obtained by the accused persons.
It was also alleged that Gupta was the major beneficiary in this fraud who had floated fictitious firms for dishonestly obtaining duty drawback claims against fake exports of readymade garments from Mumbai Customs on forged export documents including shipping bills, declaration forms, invoice copies, packing lists, etc. Mandal was the Proprietor of M/s Vijay Trading Company, Peddar Road, Mumbai whose firm was used for the purpose of depositing the Duty Drawback cheques in the name of 11 fictitious firms and further diversification of the fraudulent amount.
During the investigation, it was found that the accused had obtained illegal customs duty drawback to the tune of Rs 2,09,36,419 causing loss to the Central Government. After investigation, a charge sheet was filed in the Court of Special Judge for CBI Cases, Mumbai on May 30, 2005, against the accused persons. The Trial Court found the accused guilty and convicted them, the CBI said.