CBI searches 10 locations in Kolkata and Bihar
Kolkata: Officers of the Criminal Bureau of Investigation conducted raids at 10 places in Kolkata and Bihar on Tuesday in connection with a corruption case that could be worth more than Rs 100 crore in which a Deputy Commissioner of customs and other officials were involved.
The CBI had initiated a probe on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Customs Department against Navneet Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Customs in Kolkata, Vikki Kumar, appraiser in Kolkata, Pranabananda Bala, an examining officer posted in Kolkata and others including one Md Nasiruddin. All the officials against whom the probe has been initiated were posted at the Air Cargo Complex of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. The investigating officers are also trying to find out whether anyone else apart from these four were involved in it. The CBI officers were divided into several teams and conducted raids at the houses of the persons against whom the complaints were lodged. Raids have been conducted at eight locations in Kolkata and North 24-Parganas. In Bihar, raids have been conducted at two places. The raids continued till Tuesday evening and the CBI officers have seized several documents from the residences of the customs officials. It has been alleged that Navneet had entered into a criminal conspiracy with three others and illegally allowed import of items including cigarettes, hormone supplements, branded shoes, mobile phones, high-end watches, steroids and cameras. Preliminary probe revealed that it has been "allowed on the basis of false declaration given by the importers about the content of consignments and the Customs officials allegedly facilitated the importers in paying minimal customs duty, thereby causing huge loss to the Centre".
According to a spokesperson of CBI, there was further allegation that the DRI in Kolkata had intercepted such consignments worth around Rs 188 crore in June.