RABI DAHAL/DIWAKAR BHANDARI
BIRGUNJ: It has been revealed that staff of Birgunj Customs Office themselves are involved in revenue evasion. When police investigated a loaded truck which had just passed through the customs office it found that the quality and quantity of the materials loaded in the truck were different from what was mentioned in the invoice which proves that staff of the office themselves were involved in cheating revenue.
On April 8, police discovered
a sealed loaded truck carrying materials which were worth Rs 0.94 million more than the declared price in the invoice. The truck was handed over to Revenue Investigation Unit. Customs revenue worth Rs 0.15 million was cheated through the extra goods found in the truck, said the Revenue Investigation Unit office.
The office had investigated the truck on Wednesday, and found that there were 108 extra packets of high quality and expensive clothes than what was mentioned by the importer in the Customs Declaration Form. The importer had declared that the consignment contained cotton saris worth Rs 1.79 million but the truck was loaded with other clothing materials, informed the investigation unit.
Earlier, the Revenue Investigation Office had not taken action against six trucks which were found to be importing goods that were different from what was mentioned in the Customs Declaration Form, so this time inspector Sujan Joshi of Birta Area Police Office himself was present during the investigation of the consignment in the truck.
Both importers and staff of the customs office have been involved in cheating the customs office. Chief of Revenue Investigation Unit Surya Sedai said that it was the weakness of the staff of the customs office that goods different from what was mentioned in the Customs Declaration Form were found in a sealed truck.
Meanwhile, information officer of Birgunj Customs Office Bal Krishna Subedi claimed that staff at the customs office were not solely responsible for the goods in the sealed truck which had already passed through the customs checking area. Subedi said that importers can do any thing with the goods which are sealed in a plastic sheet. He said that the staff should not be blamed for all the wrongdoings until the provision of a container is made compulsory for the import of goods.
Police had held the sealed truck just 50 meters away from the customs office. Regional administrator Tilak Sharma said that whenever police have re-investigated sealed loaded trucks they have found a difference in the quality, value and quantity of goods than what has been mentioned in the Customs Declaration Forms. Customs has been cheated due to
the weakness of the customs staff, Sharma told THT adding, but action against the staff at the concerned customs office has not been taken.
Pathlaiya Revenue Investigation Unit Office has collected a total revenue of Rs 61.1 million till the end of the last Nepali month.