DRI seizes e-cigarette sticks worth Rs 48 crore from Mundra port in Gujarat
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized e-cigarette sticks worth Rs 48 crore at Gujarat’s Mundra Port, India’s largest private port located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Kutch.
Based on a tip-off regarding attempted smuggling of e-cigarettes by misrepresentation and concealment through Mundra Port, the container was identified and tracked upon arrival at Mundra Port.
The investigation revealed that the goods had been falsely declared as clean mops. When examining the container, one by one all the cartons inside the container were taken out and opened.
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It was found that apart from a few cartons of clean mops, there were several boxes containing hand massagers, an 8.5 inch LCD notepad and silicone pop-up toys, which were not not declared.
After getting about 60% out of the container, some cardboard boxes that were being unloaded felt heavier than usual. There were 251 such boxes. Upon opening and counting, it was revealed that 250 cartons together contained 2 lakh 2,500 puff e-cigarettes, while one carton contained 400 5,000 puff e-cigarettes, all of Yuoto brand, manufactured in China. of different flavors like latte, mint ice cream, energizing tea, coke ice cream, etc.
The electronic cigarettes and all other goods accompanying them in the container were therefore seized under the provisions of the Customs Act. The market value of the seized electronic cigarettes is set at Rs 48 crore. Further investigation is underway.
This is the second such seizure made by DRI in Gujarat in recent times. Earlier, on September 4, DRI seized another batch of e-cigarettes with a market value of Rs 20 crore while intercepting a truck near Surat.
India has banned the production, manufacture, import and export, sale, distribution and advertising related to e-cigarettes since 2019, citing concerns over the potential risks of youth smoking.
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