1060 bags of poppy seeds worth Rs 3 cr seized

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Chennai, Feb 9 (UNI) Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 1,060 bags of Poppy seeds, weighing 53 MT and valued at over Rs three crore, were seized from a containerised cargo loaded from Karachi in Pakistan last evening.

DRI Additional Director General Dr P Babu said in a release here today that the seizures were made on specific intelligence that Poppy seeds were being smuggled in the guise of Mong pulses, which was exempted from customs duty.

The customs duty on Poppy seeds was 80 per cent whereas Mong was exempted from customs duty.

The consignment in five containers was imported by a Pondicherry-based importer showing that it was coming from Singapore.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the consignment was actually loaded from Karachi and it directly came to Chennai without touching Singapore.

Officials opened the containers and found white poly sack bags of green gram (Mong whole) stacked in the front three rows. After that they found white poly sack bags of Poppy seeds stacked in the remaining rear portion of the containers.

In total, out of 2,028 bags, 968 bags were found to contain Mong pulses and the remaining 1,060 bags contained Poppy seeds, import of which require specific permission from the Narcotic ' Commissioner of India to prevent its misuse.

He said investigation revealed that the names and addresses of the importer as well as Singapore supplier were found to be fictitious.

The officials seized both the Poppy seeds and the Mong whole, which was used as cover for smuggling.

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