Tax sleuths crack down on cigarette makers for duty evasion

Jan 18 2013, 19:34 IST
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SummaryPacket of 10 cigarettes is sold for Rs 3-5 and excise duty of 12.36 pct is being evaded: source

Central revenue department officials have carried out searches on premises of cigarette manufacturers in Punjab and their various dealers across the country, unearthing unaccounted cash worth about Rs 3 crore, official sources claimed today.

Besides, the officials have also seized cigarettes worth Rs 48 lakh during the raids.

Acting on intelligence that certain cigarette manufacturing units in Nakodar, Punjab, have been indulging in a major racket of central excise duty evasion, the officials carried out all-India searches which included the premises of manufacturers, their dealers and agents, the sources said.

The searches carried out simultaneously at Delhi, Hyderabad, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Baraut and Nakodar (Punjab) resulted in cash seizure of Rs 2.96 crore and clandestinely cleared cigarettes of Rs 48 lakh, they said.

The cigarettes of brands including 'hitler black', 'Kartoos', 'Fursat', 'Flash 10', 'Eleven 10' and 'Seven 10' among others were being sold in Punjab without paying excise duty, the sources said.

A packet of 10 cigarettes was being sold for Rs 3-5 and excise duty of 12.36 per cent was being evaded, they claimed.

The searches were carried out two days back at the premises of manufacturers based in Nakodar.

Besides, two premises each of dealers in Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar, one premise of a dealer and two premises of a transporter at Delhi, one premise of a dealer at Baraut and two premises of dealer and one premise of a railway agent at Raipur were also being searched by the officials, the sources said.

"During the searches, cash of Rs 2.25 crore was seized from the premises of the railway agent who was allegedly handling and managing the receipt and dispatch of clandestinely cleared cigarettes of the factories," a source said.

Further, cash of Rs 71 lakh and unaccounted cigarettes worth Rs 48 lakh of these factories have been seized from dealer's premises in Hyderabad, Raipur and Bhubaneswar, the source said adding that the extent of evasion of the central excise duty is being quantified.

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