Staff Reporter

Tuticorin: Twenty containers with goods were detained by the officials of Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch attached to the Customs Department here recently. Investigations revealed that the consignment in 11 containers was imported from Greece and nine more containers from Reunion, one of the colonies of France, by a firm in Sivakasi, Virudhunagar district.

The goods in all, totally weighing about 470 tonnes, were declared as waste papers, municipal waste, medical waste and plastic waste. As the goods appeared to have been imported in violation of the hazardous waste (management, handling and trans-boundary movement) Rules, 2009, the officials detained the goods. The matter was taken to the notice of the Divisional Environmental Engineer, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (PCB), Tuticorin. Following examination by the PCB officials, the goods were declared hazardous wastes and could not be processed by the paper industries, C. Rajan, Commissioner of Customs, said here on Friday. Packs of broken toys, used diapers, empty perfume bottles, used battery cells, thermocol, used aluminum foil packing materials and coloured surgical gloves were found in the containers. It could also lead to contamination and spread of communicable diseases. It was also found that the pre-shipment inspection certificate issued by worldwide logistic survey and inspection group and affiliates was not false.

Hence, the goods were seized and a case had been registered against the importer, Mr. Rajan said. In yet another case, one more container carrying electronic goods estimated to be around Rs. 2 crore was seized here when it was landed in Tuticorin Port Trust on January 21, 2010. The container with a load of cell phone accessories and batteries was imported from China by a private firm in Chennai. After examination, the goods were declared fake, he added.