Mumbai: The Directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) has busted a massive import scam where it said diamond merchants with the connivance of values inflated the value of the precious stones brought into the country and used this route to transfer black money out of the country. The valuers who assign a value to the diamonds were identified as Pradeep Kumar Jhaveri, Naresh Mehta, and Paresh Shah.
According to the sources Import of rough diamonds attracts a 0.25% duty and trade estimate show that over 95% of polished diamonds sold in the world are sent from India. Very low import duty on rough diamonds makes it an attractive route to launder money. The values, who are enrolled on the customs panel, are selected after verifying their credentials, including an endorsement from the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, an organization set up by the ministry of industry and commerce.
In the present case, the importer, who is on the run, inflated the value of the imports from Rs 1 crore to Rs 160 crore said DRI officials. The DRI had received information that 14 consignments of rough diamonds were being imported from Dubai and Hong Kong at Bharat Diamond Bourse, BKC with a declared value of Rs. 156 crore, which is accepted by the values. The DRI also seized Rs 10 lakh, demands drafts amounting to Rs 2.2 crore and a large number of cheque books, Aadhaar cards and PAN cards in the raid.