According to a probe being done by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), over two lakh metric tonnes of Basmati rice was illegally offloaded in Dubai in the last over a year instead of in Bandar Abbas in Iran. Over 25 big exporters from Haryana and Punjab are under the scanner of DRI and other agencies for their involvement in the multi-crore scam, they said.
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 the connivance of cargo ship operators carrying the goods.
Surprisingly, payments were also made from Iran to these exporters in India. Importers and port officials would allegedly acknowledge the receipt of rice and allow payment to be made against it here. The intelligence agencies suspect use of rice as barter system to fund some illegal activity like terror financing.
The DRI has red-flagged the scam at the highest level and is in touch with authorities concerned in Dubai about the scam. The authorities suspect the proceeds of the scam assumed the form of black money. The DRI has informed Supreme Court- appointed Special Investigation Team on black money about the case. It has also roped in the Enforcement Directorate to look into the matter, they said.