Importers in cahoot with customs officials to evade taxes

Published On: November 1, 2017 03:15 AM NPT By: Arjun Oli

NEPALGUNJ, Nov 1: An Indian truck with registration UP 35 T 7307 loaded with electrical appliances worth Rs 2 million entered Nepal on Saturday evening without completing customs procedures.

According to eyewitnesses, the truck, which was parked near the customs office on Saturday, passed through the check post, the same evening. Police later impounded the truck from Mahendra Multiple Campus acting on a tip-off.

The truck reached Nepalgunj passing through around half a dozen security posts of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force along with the customs office. Nepalgunj Area Office of Federal Police Forced ultimately took the truck under control.

Senior Superintendent of Police Mahesh Bikram Shaha, chief of the office, said the truck was bringing consignment of Nepalgunj-based Durgeshwori Enterprises. “However, we have not been able to ascertain the identity of the trader as his/her mobile phone is switched off,” he added

Shah further added that the truck had undergone inspection at the Indian customs. “But the value of goods in the truck is higher than the price mentioned in the invoice,” he said. “The truck entered Nepalgunj without stopping at the customs office. The office should have stopped it for inspection.”

The truck has been handed over to the Kohalpur-based office of Revenue Investigation Department (IRD) for further investigation.

Janardan Acharya, chief of Nepalgunj Customs Office, told Republica that he has heard of police impounding a truck that entered the country without completing customs formalities. “I am yet to get the details,” he told Republica on Sunday. “I have formed a team to probe how the truck managed to pass through the customs without undergoing checking.”

According to Acharya, the importer needs to pay around Rs 70,000 customs duty for goods imported. “This is not a big amount,” he added.

The customs office has drawn criticism from all quarters for tightening rule for general public but releasing goods of big traders without levying any duty. 

This is not the first case of irregularities at the Nepalgunj customs. Earlier in mid-October, customs officials impounded an Indian truck carrying 15 tons of meat products on the charge of producing fake documents. The meat was destroyed by the officials. But it was revealed later on that the officials destroyed meat only after the importer failed to furnish amount demanded by customs officials.

About 10 months ago, the customs office released a truck charging nominal customs duty for 800 sacks of broken rise. But the truck was found carrying 800 sacks of rice when it met with an accident after some hours.

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