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Cylinders containing ozone depleting gas R–22 confiscated

Staff Reporter
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1,150 of them smuggled from China to Tuticorin Port

Alert intervention: C. Rajan, Additional Director-General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, inspecting the seized cylinders in Tuticorin on Thursday. — Photo: N. Rajesh
Alert intervention: C. Rajan, Additional Director-General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, inspecting the seized cylinders in Tuticorin on Thursday. — Photo: N. Rajesh

As many as 1,150 cylinders containing refrigerant gas R–22, which depletes ozone layer, have been seized by the officials attached to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence here on Thursday.

The seized goods were estimated to be around Rs.62.5 lakh. It was reportedly smuggled from China. The consignment of goods (R–22) is strictly prohibited. The R –22, known as Chloro–di– Fluoro–Methane, is an ozone depleting substance. The gas was normally being used in air conditioning systems refrigerators.

The emission of this gas could cause skin cancer, cataract, affect immune system and ecosystem also.

Based on intelligence reports, the authorities testified the veracity of goods. Investigations revealed that goods were imported by a Kerala-based firm Zain Trade Link, Asha Shopping Complex, Palakkad. Clear information in the document revealed Quzhou Saliflouride Chemical Company Limited, China, as supplier of the goods.

Nobody came forward to clear the consignment since October 28, 2010, when the goods arrived at Tuticorin Port. Under the pretext of “Refrigerant 404A, Penta Fluroethane on the outer side of the cylinder, which are permissible, the goods were smuggled, C. Rajan, Additional Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, said while addressing the media here on Thursday.

The goods did not carry the origin of the country. The gas filled inside the cylinders was known as R–22 after testing it with the electronic refrigerant gas testing kit at CWC container freight station here.

The container was found with cartons of medium sized gas filled cylinders. Each of the cylinders weighs 13.6 kilograms. Since the importer attempted to smuggle R–22 gas under false declaration of the consignment without licence, the authorities seized them under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

Search operation was on to nab the culprit behind the incident. He added that the seized goods would be dispatched to China, from where it was smuggled.


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