600 cylinders of ozone-depleting gas seized

NEW DELHI: As many as 600 cylinders of Ozone-depleting R22 gas and one crore sticks of “Gudang Garam” cigarettes worth Rs10 crore have been seized by officials of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

editorial@tribune.com

New Delhi, April 13

As many as 600 cylinders of Ozone-depleting R22 gas and one crore sticks of “Gudang Garam” cigarettes worth Rs10 crore have been seized by officials of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

R22 gas is identified as Ozone depleting substance whose production and consumption is being phased out as per the Montreal Protocol. India has ratified this protocol and import of R22 refrigerant gas into the country is restricted.

The officials of Delhi Zonal Unit of the agency had received an intelligence input that a Punjab-based syndicate is smuggling R22 refrigerant gas and cigarettes through Ludhiana Inland Container Depot by concealing it behind imported aluminium scrap. Accordingly, a team of DRI officials tailed a trailer carrying a container of aluminium scrap cleared from Ludhiana ICD from the Singhu border on NH-1 and intercepted it on Sunday, a press release issued today by the DRI said.

One more suspect container was intercepted on the same day at the ICD. Examination of the two containers led to recovery of 600 cylinders of R22 refrigerant gas, each of 13.6 kg, and 600 cartons containing 86.4 lakh sticks of Indonesia-made “Gudang Garam” cigarettes, both concealed behind aluminium scrap, it said.

In a follow-up action, 100 more cartons containing 14.35 lakh sticks of cigarettes were seized from a godown in Delhi.

The seized R22 gas and over one crore stick of cigarettes are valued at Rs10 crore, the release said. Four persons have been arrested so far. —PTI

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