India’s DRI arrests top exec at Future Group over unpaid duties

Reuters | Published: 00:00, Jul 15,2019


The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested a top executive at the retail conglomerate 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 on Saturday.

The DRI, part of India’s finance ministry, arrested Dinesh Maheshwari, executive director and chief financial officer of Future Enterprises Ltd, for flouting import rules that allow duty-free shipments of certain items under a free trade pact with Bangladesh. It didn’t say where he was detained.

Future Group did not respond to a Reuters e-mail and phone calls seeking comment.

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 diversified retail business founded by billionaire Kishore Biyani. The group runs a series of retail chains in the country, including many local and international apparel brands, the fashion stores FBB, Big Bazaar supermarket stores and premium lifestyle food superstore Foodhall.

‘Specific intelligence was received by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence 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 on the Indian side of the border 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.’

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