Importer of US consignment questioned

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Kochi, Oct 22 (UNI) The Customs department today summoned for questioning Mr Jossy Cyriac, the Managing Director of Kochin Kadalas, the local company which imported a US waste consignment which turned out to be full of prohibited material including municipal garbage and medical and e-waste.

Senior Customs officials told UNI that Mr Cyriac's statement was recorded at the end of the day-long questioning, details of which were confidential. The department would continue with legal procedure against him, they said.

Stating that the repatriation of the consignment, consisting of three container loads weighing almost 61 tonnes, was the top priority of the Customs, the officials said the department was likely to issue the re-export orders tomorrow.

The consignment, which was supposed to contain only waste paper, had been sent by Bellsun Corp, a New York-based company.

The responsibility of re-exporting the consignment would be of Kochin Kadalas. ''The company will have to send it back at its own risk and cost,'' the officials said.

The consignment had landed at the Cochin Port earlier this month and a preliminary check by the Customs had revealed municipal garbage, following which it had asked the state Pollution Control Board (PCB) to conduct a detailed examination.

The detailed examination by the PCB last week had revealed that the containers consisted of almost 25 to 40 per cent of municipal garbage, medical and e-waste.

The board had recommended the customs to immediately send back the consignment to its port of origin.

The discovery had prompted Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathy to declare that they would not allow developed nations to use India as a ''dumping ground'' for their refuse.

UNI

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