In a major crackdown, the Department of Revenue Intelligence’s (DRI) Mumbai Zonal Unit has seized smuggled Chinese-origin insecticide consignments of 30 tonnes, valued at around Rs 16.80 crore, an official said.
The seizure has blown the lid off a major racket by a syndicate that may have smuggled in over 300 tonnes of such illegal pesticides, valued at over Rs 300 crore, into India in the recent past, according to the DRI.
“Several consignments of insecticides being smuggled into India with the active connivance of the Chinese suppliers of these items. Investigation is on in these cases. Import of insecticides legally require the permit of the Central Insecticides Board,” said a DRI MZU official.
As per the probe, the smuggling by the unidentified syndicate sneaked in insecticides like chlorantraniliprole, abamectin benzoate, etc by declaring them as vinyl acetate ethylene copolymer.
After the consignment was seized under the Customs Act, 1962, lab tests have confirmed the goods to be insecticides, brought here with the active connivance of the Chinese suppliers, said the DRI.
The probe unravelled that the syndicate was operating in complicity with the Chinese suppliers who intentionally mis-declared the insecticides as VAEC in their documents to facilitate the smuggling.
The illegal proceeds from the sale of these smuggled goods were routed to the unidentified Chinese suppliers through the illicit hawala network by the syndicate.
As per the law, it is mandated for the importer along with suppliers/manufacturers to get registration from the CIB, to ensure that proper quality standards are met before usage of insecticides.
“All these requirements were flouted by the smugglers. Usage of substandard insecticides can be harmful to nature as well as to the health of citizens. Further, certain insecticides were patented products and were being brought in violation of the IPR rules,” said the DRI.
In the past one month alone, the DRI revealed it has seized several consignments of such smuggled insecticides entering into India from China, and pointed to a bigger racket that has been going on for a considerable time with widespread ramifications.