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Enforcement Directorate seizes over 289 MT of Indonesian areca nut in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate's case stems from a CBI FIR in the month of March last year where these allegations were made that many traders of Nagpur.

New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate raided multiple premises in Nagpur and Mumbai on Saturday and it has also seized more than 289 “unaccounted” betel nuts worth about Rs 11.5 crore as part of a money laundering probe against those involved in its Indonesian variant of smuggling.

enforcement directorate seizes

The Enforcement Directorate’s case stems from a CBI FIR in the month of March last year where these allegations were made that many traders of Nagpur in connivance with various public servants were fully involved in “smuggling” of substandard arecanut/areca nut of Indonesian origin and also falsely claiming to be originated from South Asia Free Trading Agreement (SAFTA) and South Asia Preferential Trading Agreement (SAPTA) member countries.

This was done, the agency also said in a statement, by using “fake” certificates of origin, and by using bogus and undervalued bills/invoices, and so on to “evade” Customs.

Indonesian betel nut is smuggled across the Myanmar border on a very large scale.

Warehouse owner could not supply the KYC

The investigation also found it is said, a well-organized syndicate of suppliers of Indonesian betel leaves, commission agents, logistics providers, transporters, hawala operators, and buyers who were also smuggling this chewable item into India through the Indo-Myanmar border.

It is also said that “fabricated” domestic invoices were made and smuggled betel nuts were also brought to Nagpur and Gondia districts of Maharashtra.

The agency has also said that it had seized 289.57 metric tonnes (MT) of unaccounted betel nut worth about Rs 11.5 crore in Nagpur, besides Rs 16.5 lakh in cash.

The warehouse owner could not supply the KYC of those traders at all who had also deposited supari and totally failed to submit any supporting documents like invoices, quality certificate, stock register, bills, transport documents etc.

Also Read: High Court canceled the allotment of land of Nagpur Improvement Trust to the private society

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