Indonesia Betel Nuts Smuggling Syndicate Busts: ED conducts raids in Maharashtra

3 December, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

BeFunky collage 24 National

ED raided 17 sites in Mumbai and Nagpur, encompassing office and residential premises of various people involved in the smuggling of betel nuts of Indonesian origin, mostly over the Indo-Myanmar bo...

Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) raided 17 sites in Mumbai and Nagpur, encompassing office and residential premises of various people involved in the smuggling of betel nuts of Indonesian origin, mostly over the Indo-Myanmar border.

An ED investigation discovered a well-organized conspiracy of Indonesian betel nut suppliers, commission brokers, logistic providers, transporters, hawala operators, and customers smuggling the betel nuts into India. The agency launched an inquiry based on a CBI Nagpur FIR filed on March 5, 2021 under pertinent parts of the law.

Meanwhile, ED stated on Saturday that the FIR claimed many Nagpur-based traders engaged in smuggling of substandard betel nuts/areca nuts of Indonesian origin and falsely claiming the same to be originating from member countries of South Asia Preferential Trading Agreement (SAPTA) and South Asia Free Trading Agreement (SAFTA) by using fake certificates of origin.

According to the agency, accused utilised forged and undervalued bills/invoices to avoid paying customs tax to the government. Furthermore, the revenue intelligence officials had investigated unlawful betel nut smuggling and issued eight show-cause warnings.