New Delhi, Oct 9:  In a major seizure ahead of Diwali, China-made fire crackers worth Rs nine crore have been seized here by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The illegally imported fire crackers were seized yesterday from six big containers at Inland Container Depot in Tughlaqabad. The goods were misdeclared as medical equipment for handicapped/disabled persons and as bicycle parts, said Debi Prasad Dash, Principal Additional Director General of the DRI.

The market value of the seized fire crackers, which are of different brand names such as ‘Leopard King’, ‘Pop Pop Snappers’ etc, is around Rs nine crore, he said today. As per norms, the import of fire crackers is restricted. The fire crackers can be imported only against a license issued by the Chief Controller of Explosives. During examination of the containers, DRI officers found a few cartons of bicycle saddle, bicycle iron baskets, steel wheel chairs, commode wheel chairs, walking sticks etc in the front portion of the containers behind which cartons of fire crackers were kept hidden to avoid detection by the customs officers. ALSO READ: Kerala High Court Judge seeks ban on high decibel fire crackers 

The fire crackers had been imported by a Punjab-based importer allegedly using a dummy import-export code in connivance with a Delhi-based customs broker. Both of them were arrested today, Dash said. Considering the adverse impact of these smuggled fire crackers on the general health of the people and its hazardous effect on the environment, DRI has increased surveillance to check such illegal smuggling. So far this year, the Delhi Zonal Unit of the DRI has seized eight containers of fire crackers of market value of about Rs 11 crore.

Another senior DRI official said that smugglers are using new modus operandi to dodge the authorities. One of them is to import Chinese fire crackers illegally without mentioning ‘Made in China’ on them. However, DRI officials have been able to foil all such attempts.