Ahmedabad: A racket was busted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday involving seven customs officials allegedly taking bribes from a city-based Freight Forwarder company for clearing its import and export consignments from Gujarat.

In the inter-state crackdown, CBI conducted raids in several districts of Gujarat such as Ahmedabad, Mundra, Surat, Nadiad, Gandhidham, Vadodara, Junagadh, besides Mumbai and Delhi.

"An authorised signatory of Ahmedabad-based Freight Forwarder Company paid huge bribes between July and October last year at places including Ahmedabad, Mundra and Surat for obtaining clearance of import-export consignments," a CBI official said.
The anti-corruption wing of CBI Gandhinagar has registered cases in this connection.

"Cases of bribery have been registered against seven custom officials in Gujarat comprising superintendent and inspectors, besides an authorised signatory of the Ahmedabad based freight forwarder company and two of its employees," a CBI official said.

"A inspector of customs in Surat tried to burn huge cash lying with him, before allowing the CBI team to enter his residence during the search," he said.

"A deep-rooted corruption network exists wherein some custom house agents and few individuals regularly pay bribe to officials based on per clearance of consignment," he said. However, the CBI refused to divulge the names of custom officials involved in the scam stating that investigations were underway.

The agency has also seized large quantity of incriminating documents from the premises of custom officials.