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GJEPC says valuers, customs agents not members of council – 14th july Surat News – Today Samachar – Today Live News of Surat

Surat: The multi-crore scam of rough diamonds import by the merchants and valuers busted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Mumbai on Thursday has rocked the Surat industry.

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has clarified that the customs house agents (CHAs) and the valuers were not recommended by them as trade valuation panel at the customs.

The rough diamond importers, who are believed to have taken out Rs 3,000 crore by inflating the prices of rough diamonds in the last-one-and-half-year, connived with the valuers on the customs panel, who assign the value of diamonds, and the customs house agent. The importer who is on the run, inflated the value of the rough diamonds from Rs one crore to Rs 160 crore and the money was transferred through the banks to Hong Kong.

GJEPC said that the scam was unearthed by the whistle-blowers in the diamond industry. The scam was running for a very long time and that it was hurting the genuine importers.

“It is unfortunate that a group of people who are not members of GJEPC have used Gem & Jewellery product as a conduit for money laundering and malpractices. The Custom House Agents and a large part of valuers were not recommended or referred to, by GJEPC as part of trade valuation panel at the Customs” said the GJEPC statement.

During the past months, the GJEPC was engaged in a sustained campaign in exposing the malpractices. The council had also sensitised the central government on massive overvaluation of several imports from Hong Kong along with proof of such practices.

In fact, persons from GJEPC’s trade acted as whistle-blowers in uncovering the malpractice. Moreover, all the companies indulging in this malpractice were not members of GJEPC. The council has the documentary evidence on the support provided to the government agencies, according to the statement.

“We thank our active members who acted as whistleblowers and information providers in unearthing of the huge scam” said a senior GJEPC office-bearer.

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