The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested Dinesh Maheshwari, executive director and CFO of Future Group, he violated import rules.
The DRI, part of the ministry of finance, arrested Dinesh Maheshwari, a top executive at the retail giant Future Group, one of the largest retailers in the country, on customs fraud charges involving more than $2 million of unpaid customs duties on garment imports, a government statement said.
Maheshwari violated import rules which allow duty-free shipments of certain items under a free trade pact with Bangladesh.
DRI didn’t say where he was detained. It wasn’t clear whether Maheshwari remained in the custody.
The imports were being supplied from other countries but being directed through Bangladesh and passed off as being of Bangladeshi origin after minimal processing,
the finance ministry statement said.
Future Enterprises Ltd is an infrastructure arm of a retail business founded by billionaire Kishore Biyani.
The Future Group runs a series of retail chains in the country, including many local and international apparel brands, like FBB, Big Bazaar and premium lifestyle food superstore Foodhall.
“Specific intelligence was received by DRI that M/s. Future Enterprises Ltd. was importing readymade garments from Bangladesh through Petrapole LCS without payment of Basic Customs Duty,” the statement said.
Petrapole LCS is a land customs station inside the border of India with Bangladesh.
“Investigations further reveal that the garments were supplied by third country suppliers based in Dubai and Singapore, but were delivered from Bangladesh after some minimal processing, not enough as per the norms for the product to be called as of Bangladeshi origin.”
The government said cases of abuse of the free trade pact “directly affect the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the country and distort the level playing field for genuine Indian manufacturers.”
Bangladesh build the world’s second-largest garment industry, behind China, with some 4,000 factories employing about 4 million workers, low wages helped.
It is also among the world’s largest exporters of apparel sold by Western companies like H&M and Walmart.
By: Abhinav Ranjan, Business Writer, DKODING Media