Tax sleuths crack down on cigarette makers for duty evasion
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
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