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Customs snare Anil Ambani's jet news
16 July 2008

New Delhi: Persisting with its campaign to track evasion of customs duty by corporate India in the import of executive jets, the government landed another aircraft in its net, this time from the Anil Dhirubahi Ambani Group (ADAG). The Customs department has issued a notice to Reliance Transport and Travels Pvt Ltd for payment of over Rs37 crore as duty on the import of what appears to be a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express aircraft, whose cost is estimated to be in the region of Rs150 crore.

So far, the campaign launched by the Customs department has netted about 10 aircraft from various corporate entities, including the Mukesh Ambani Reliance Group, GMR, Oberoi and Indiabulls. After preliminary inquiries the seized aircraft have been released on bank guarantees and bonds.

Reports suggest that the Customs department is scrutinising over 250 such aircraft, including those belonging to the Tatas, DLF and Raymonds.

Meanwhile, Reliance Transport and Travels responded immediately to the seizure saying it had offered a voluntary bank guarantee and indemnity bond to the department, in spite of the fact hat it  had done no wrong. The offer, apparently, was turned down by the department as no seizure notice had been issued by it. In such a case, the department said, no such offer could be accepted.

Reliance Transport and Travels officials said, "RTT is a valid NSO permit holder and has responded and furnished full and comprehensive documentation regarding its aircraft.''

"RTT further informed the customs that it has complied with all existing rules and regulations," a spokesperson said. 

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Customs snare Anil Ambani's jet