INDIA. Mumbai: In a major crackdown, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s (DRI) Mumbai Zonal Unit, in a month-long drive, seized Chinese-origin insecticide consignments weighing 30 metric tonnes, worth Rs 16.80 crore, smuggled into India with the active connivance of the Chinese suppliers.
These consignments were imported into Maharashtra without permission of the Central Insecticide Board (CIB), the DRI said in an official statement.
The seizure has blown the lid off a major racket by a syndicate that may have smuggled in over 300 metric tonnes of such illegal pesticides, valued at over Rs 300 crore, into India in the recent past.
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 (VAEC).
After the consignments were seized under the Customs Act of 1962, lab tests confirmed that the goods were 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 misdeclared 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 and manufacturers, to get registration from the CIB to ensure that proper quality standards are met before the use of insecticides. All these requirements were flouted by the smugglers.
The use of substandard insecticides can be harmful to nature as well as to the health of citizens. “Besides, certain insecticides were patented products and were being brought in violation of the IPR rules,” the DRI officials said.