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ED, I-T to probe Basmati rice scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (I-T) department will probe the over Rs 1,000-crore scam in export of high-quality Basmati rice to Iran which was fraudulently diverted mid-sea to Dubai.

ED, I-T to probe Basmati rice scam
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New Delhi

Both the agencies have been asked by a Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team to track the money which has been laundered through the export besides zeroing in on its beneficiaries, official sources said on Monday. 

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which has unearthed the scam, has shared relevant details of the case with the SIT, which is now monitoring the probe, they said. The SIT, headed by former Supreme Court judge M B Shah, is responsible for investigating cases of black money stashed within and outside the country. 

Over two lakh metric tonnes of Basmati rice was illegally offloaded in Dubai, during 2014-2015, instead of Bandar Abbas in Iran, the sources said. At least 25 big exporters from Haryana and Punjab are under the scanner of probe agencies for their involvement in the multi-crore scam. Both ED and I-T have been asked to look into the case, they said. Explaining the modus operandi, the sources claimed the rice would be taken to Gujarat’s Kandla Port by these exporters. 

They would then file shipping bills—documents filed with customs authorities carrying details of goods to be exported, consignor and consignee—for export to Iran. Instead of the consignment reaching Iranian shores, it would be diverted mid-sea to Dubai allegedly with connivance of cargo ship operators carrying the goods.

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