DRI seizes Rs 189 crore imported machinery of mining baron

Andhra Pradesh: DRI seizes Rs 189 crore imported machinery of mining baron

Vijayawada: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday seized imported machinery worth Rs 189 crore belonging to Brahmani Industries, promoted by controversial mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, at Kadapa on Monday.

The case under investigation with the DRI for evasion of customs duty on capital goods and machinery imported through the Chennai port in 2009, purportedly for setting up an integrated steel plant.

The goods were imported by availing of customs duty exemption under Exports Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCG) as per provisions of foreign trade policy 2009-2014. Under the policy, the importer was to instal the machinery in six months from the date of import and fulfil the export obligation equal to eight times the duty saved. This was to be done by exporting goods using the imported material.

Accordingly, Bramhani Industries executed a bond. In lieu of a bank guarantee, the bond was backed by a corporate guarantee issued by Obulapuram Mining Company Pvt Ltd, Bellary, a promoter of Brahmani Industries.

DRI investigations revealed that Brahmani Industries allegedly violated the EPCG scheme conditions. A visit to the factory premises revealed that they had not even installed the machinery imported way back in 2009 and no exports had been made even after eight years.

DRI action was initiated by Chennai Customs for enforcement of bond and corporate guarantee executed with them. The importer had not paid the customs duty involved on the imported goods till date amounting to `44 crore.

During investigation, the personnel concerned, including company chairman, admitted the violations, but failed to discharge duty liability.

“For the aforesaid violations, the imported capital goods are rendered liable for confiscation under Customs Act 1962. Hence, the officers visited the premises.”