Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cardamom seized, 2 held


Gangtok, Nov. 8: A truck loaded with 141 bags of cardamom and worth Rs 7 lakh has been seized near the Sikkim-Bengal border early yesterday. Two persons have been arrested.

The Sikkim vigilance department, which made the seizure, has asked the government to suspend officials — in this case, the employees of the finance, revenue and expenditure and police departments — for not registering the movement of the vehicle at the border check-post.

Acting on a tip-off, a team from the state vigilance directorate reached Rhenock, about 45km from here, on Tuesday night. It spotted the truck coming from Rhenock Bazar at five next morning. The team followed the vehicle and intercepted it on a bridge that divides Bengal near the Reshi check-post in East district.

Check-posts of the police, the state income tax and commercial tax departments are located at the spot.

D.B. Giri, the superintendent of police (vigilance), who led the team, said the truck (bearing registration number SK-03/2687) of Santosh Agarwal was seized because it was carrying the consignment “without valid documents”. The value of the consignment is close to Rs 7 lakh in the market, he added.

According to Giri, the driver of the truck should possess mandatory declaration form and the waybill as required under the Sikkim Value Added Tax Rules, 2005.

An FIR was lodged by the vigilance department under Section 420 read with 120 B of the IPC against Anup Kumar Agarwal, the sender of the goods, and Sajan Chettri, the truck driver.

They have been arrested for evading taxes and causing loss to the state exchequer,” Giri said.