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Rs 8.6 crore worth smuggled Areca Nuts seized at Chennai & Tuticorin ports

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The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized Rs 8.6 crore worth Areca Nuts being smuggled in containers that arrived at Chennai and Tuticorin ports from Dubai and Singapore, according to official information provided today.

Based on specific information that Areca Nuts in huge quantities are being illicitly imported into India from Jebel Ali, Dubai and Singapore in containers by mis-declaring the goods as “Compounded Animal Feed” and Barley, DRI officials intercepted two  containers at Tuticorin port and three  containers at Chennai Port.

A search of these containers showed that that the gunny bags stacked in the first two rows contained the declared cargo “Compounded Animal Feed” as well as “Barley” but the remaining gunny bags contained “Areca Nuts,” the official statement explained.

The total quantity of 114.372 MTs (metric tonnes) of smuggled Areca Nuts totally valued at Rs. 8.61 crore have been seized under the Customs Act.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the import of all 5 containers were arranged by a person from Chennai. Swift follow-up action was initiated which  led to the arrest of the king pin in the case.

DRI Chennai Zonal Unit had earlier seized 232.349MTs of Areca Nut, valued Rs.11.72 crore concealed along with various cover goods and imported from Indonesia in the last few months. In the financial year 2022-23, about 3670.19 MT of areca nuts valued at Rs 143 crore has been seized by the various units of DRI.