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Accused in fertilizer scam detained under COFEPOSA

In the multi-crore fertilizer smuggling racket, which was busted by Chennai Sea Port Customs in August this year, one of the accused, B
S Venkatesh of Forever Exports, Bangalore, has been detained under Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA). The non-bailable detention is for one year, which can be extended for one more year, if need be.

Based on the recommendations of Customs officials, the state government passed orders for the detention.

Out of the five export agents arrested in the case, detention orders under COFEPOSA have been issued against two more people, Mohammed Omar of Bangalore-based Kohinoor Traders and Stephen Rozario of Pondicherry-based Zandra Trading - said a senior Customs official.

Customs had blown the lid off the racket, in which some traders, middlemen and exporters were involved in smuggling of heavily subsidized fertilizers. They were involved in smuggling muriate of potash (MOP) from various parts of India to Malaysia and Vietnam by falsely declaring it as industrial salt. While 52 containers of MOP were seized from six container freight stations in Chennai and one at Thoothukudi, customs commissioner C Rajan also called back 49 containers which had already left Chennai port for Malaysia. In all, 2617 metric tonnes of MOP were seized in the operation.

Source: TOI


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