The DRI has seized 122 metric tonnes of Ascorbic acid, known as Vitamin-C, worth Rs 10 crore and busted a gang involved in smuggling the vitamin from China into India through Myanmar border, officials said today. The seizure was made from several godowns situated at Vairengte in Mizoram on August 8, 9 and 10, it said. With the seizure, it has busted a syndicate involved in smuggling of the Vitamin C from China into India through Myanmar via the land borders in North-Eastern states, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said in a statement. Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for Vitamin C, which is required by humans as part of nutrition.
It is also used for treatment of Scurvy disease. The DRI officers have seized a total of 122.5 metric tonnes of Ascorbic acid valued nearly Rs 10 crore smuggled from China with the objective of evading not just the customs duties and GST, but also anti-dumping duty, it said. The cartons, each weighing 25 kgs in which the Ascorbic Acid was packed, bore inscriptions "ASCORBIC ACID, BP/USP/EP/FCC/E300, MADE IN CHINA", the statement said. The recovered consignment of Vitamin C is believed to have been smuggled from Shandong province of China via sea route to South East Asia and then entered India via Myanmar through Zowkhatar border in Mizoram, it said. After crossing the Indo-Myanmar border through Zowkhatar, the smuggled goods were brought to Vairengte in trucks, where they were temporarily stored for onward transportation to other parts of India, the DRI said. Ascorbic acid imports from China attract anti-dumping duty at 3.74 USD per kg along with other applicable customs duties. Taking into consideration the present market price of Ascorbic acid at Rs 800 per kg, approximate total duty evasion works out to be Rs 3.54 crore, the statement said. The case further establishes the sensitivity of India- Myanmar border which is being exploited by international syndicates to smuggle narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, gold, wildlife products and commercial goods, it said, adding that the DRI is closely monitoring the illicit activity on this border.
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