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CBI books Customs official, Delhi firm, others over alleged smuggling of gold from Dubai to India

A file picture of the CBI office complex in New Delhi.

A file picture of the CBI office complex in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

The case is based on a probe by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

The CBI has booked a Superintendent of Customs, then posted at the IGI Airport, a Delhi-based company and others for alleged smuggling of gold from Dubai to India in the garb of re-import of jewellery exported for exhibition purpose.

Among those named are Customs Superintendent Vikram Bhasin, Its My Name Private Limited, its director Rahul Gupta, Purnima Gupta, Amit Pal Singh, Gopal Gupta and Mohammed Nashruddin Khan.

The case is based on a probe by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, which seized jewellery weighing over 51 kg at the airport in the early hours of April 25, 2019. The agency had arrested Gopal Gupta, Amit Pal Singh and Nashruddin, all alleged employees of Its My Name.

The DRI probe revealed the alleged role of Vikram Bhasin, who was arrested on May 31, 2019.

It is alleged that Mr. Rahul Gupta, in connivance with Gopal Gupta, Amit Pal Singh and Nashruddin, who was the dummy director of United Arab Emirates-based MN Khan Jewelers FZE, besides Vikram Bhasin, allegedly misused the re-import provision by bringing in jewellery without getting the required clearance.

The FIR alleges that the company exported gold jewellery from India through two modes. In the first mode, it was sent abroad through personal hand carriage for the declared purpose of overseas exhibition.

The exhibitions were purportedly stated to be organised by United Arab Emirates-based MN Khan Jewellers FZE, a firm “effectively controlled” by Mr. Rahul Gupta.

The jewellery was exported through personal hand carriage by either Mr. Amit Pal Singh or Mr. Nashruddin, the “dummy proprietor of MN Khan Jewellers FZE”, based on fake exhibition invitation letters.

The Foreign Trade Policy, along with the related provisions, allows for duty free re-import of such exported jewellery, subject to Customs rules and regulations. The gold jewellery said to be exported for exhibition purpose used to be later shown as re-imported to India as unsold.

For this purpose, the Customs declaration for export of small-quantity gold jewellery, i.e., less than one kg, to India used to be filed at the Dubai airport in the names of Mr. Amit Pal Singh and Mr. Nashruddin.

The declaration for export of large-quantity consignments to Nepal, Thailand and Singapore, were filed in the name of Musthafa Kamal Ramalappa.

After completion of the emigration formalities at Dubai, Mr. Ramalappa would hand over the large-quantity consignments to Mr. Amit Pal Singh and Mr. Nashruddin for “illegal” re-import to India. Mr. Nashruddin would travel to Kathmandu, Thailand or Singapore empty handed, as alleged.

The FIR also alleges that the company imported gold bullion from Hussain Jewellery FZE, another entity allegedly controlled by Mr. Rahul Gupta, without payment of duty.

The cash payments realised from the grey market through sale of such foreign bullion was paid to Mr. Ramalappa in Dubai via the “hawala” channel.

They were then transferred back to the accounts of Its My Name by MN Khan Jewelers FZE through the banking channels, as alleged.

It is alleged that Mr. Nashruddin, at Mr. Rahul Gupta’s instance, would directly send a part of the jewellery to MN Khan Jewellers for re-melting, assaying and for refining to SAM Precious Metals FZLLC.

The gold bullion so obtained was sent to Hussain Jewellery, from where it was brought to India.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:09:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbi-books-customs-official-delhi-firm-others-over-alleged-smuggling-of-gold-from-dubai-to-india/article31127195.ece

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