Delhi businessman arrested for duty evasion by importing 63 cranes


Customs officials apprehended a Delhi-based businessman for importing 63 heavy cranes over the past two years, allegedly declaring them as old and second-hand to reduce the amount of duty payable. The accused was presented before the magistrate’s court in Mumbai, which subsequently remanded him to judicial custody. The Customs officials uncovered the businessman’s modus operandi through intelligence inputs.
Several months ago, they seized one of the imported cranes for a thorough examination, suspecting foul play. During the investigation, officials discovered that the documents detailing the crane purchases were forged.
Further scrutiny revealed that the accused had registered the majority of the imported cranes with the Gujarat Regional Transport Office (RTO), portraying them as either new or just two years old.
Customs duties on imported cranes are determined based on their depreciation value, with a maximum reduction of 60% from the actual machine value. An official explained, “So, the accused would show to customs that the cranes were over 10 years old to pay fewer duties.
At the same time, he used to get the cranes registered with the RTO, showing them as new or just a few years old, which increases their use period.”
Officials estimated the average cost of a crane to be around Rs 2 crore, asserting that the arrested individual had deceived the government by evading Rs 2 crore in customs duties.
The arrest followed a comprehensive investigation into the discrepancies in the businessman’s declarations and the subsequent uncovering of the fraudulent scheme.