Indonesian cigarettes, smuggled illegally into India, worth Rs seven crore were seized from a shipping container in Chennai on Thursday.
The seizure was made when Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths, on a tip-off, carried out the search of a container at a yard in New Manali near Chennai. It had been sent by a Singapore-based private firm to a local importer.
The container had come from Singapore and was moved into the city, officials said. It had 700 cartons containing 70 lakh cigarettes with markings ‘Djarum Black’ and being smuggled, officials from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said.
The importer — Thivya Agencies — has declared the cargo as ‘Malaysian core veneer’ plywood sheets. However, DRI officials found 700 cartons containing seven lakh sticks of Indonesian cigarettes ‘Djarum Black’ kept concealed under the plywood sheets.
“The cartons were packed in between plywood sheets and investigation is on to trace the importer,” a statement from the revenue intelligence department said.
The cigarettes, worth Rs 7 crore, were systematically arranged in the cartons and did not contain the mandatory pictorial warning, it added.