Kochi, Oct 26 (UNI) A New York-based company, which sent a load of rubbish to a paper manufacturer here this month, charged him Rs 3.3 lakh for the consignment, which turned out to be full of municipal garbage, medical and E-waste.
Sources told UNI that Mr Jossey Cyriac, the Managing Director of 'Kochin Kadalas', who was questioned at length by the Customs Department here yesterday, pleaded ignorance about the contents of the consignment.
''According to his version, he had placed order for waste paper, to make into recycled paper, and had no idea about the actual contents of the three containers, which landed here earlier this month,'' the sources said.
The Customs Department yesterday ordered ''immediate re-export'' of the objectionable consignment and also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 and a penalty of Rs 15,000 on 'Kochin Kadalas' for importing prohibited material.
Mr Cyriac had agreed to send back the consignment, weighing about 61 tonnes, and was filing 'shipping bills' for the purpose.
According to him, the exporter, Bellsun Corp, a New York-based company, had agreed to take back the consignment, which cost Rs 3.3 lakh.
''The importer is making arrangements to ship back the containers. The process may take a day or two,'' Customs Department officials added.
The consignment had landed at 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 to conduct a detailed examination.
The detailed examination by the PCB last week had revealed that the containers consisted 25 to 40 per cent of municipal garbage, medical and e-waste.
The Board had recommended to the Customs to immediately send back the consignment to its port of origin.
The discovery of municipal garbage, medical and e-waste in a consignment meant to contain only waste paper had prompted Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss 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 waste material.