The CBI has booked a deputy commissioner of the customs department for allegedly allowing importers evade duty on items worth Rs 188 crore in June, and also carried out searches in Bihar and West Bengal today. The searches were carried out at 10 locations in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal and Bihar in connection with alleged illegal imports to the country in collusion with customs officials. CBI sources said the searches were carried out in connection with an FIR registered against deputy commissioner Navneet Kumar, appraiser Vicky Kumar, examining officer Pranabananda Bala, all posted at Air Cargo Complex, NSCBI Airport, Kolkata and a private citizen Mohammed Naseeruddin. The deputy commissioner and the appraiser have already been suspended by the customs department. "It was also alleged that in pursuance thereof, couriers/importers were illegally allowed to import items like cigarettes, steroids, hormone supplements, branded shoes, mobile phones, high-end watches and cameras etc. on the basis of false declaration given by the importers about the content of the consignments," a CBI spokesperson said here today. In the said manipulations, the customs officials allegedly facilitated the importers in paying minimal customs duty, thereby causing huge loss to the Indian government, he said. "It was further alleged that the DRI, Kolkata intercepted such mis-declared consignments worth around Rs 188 crore approx) in the month of June, 2017," the official said.
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