Narendra Kumar Rastogi Extradited from US


PTI

New Delhi, Jul 5: Narendra Kumar Rastogi, accused of committing economic offences, was on Friday extradited from the United States to face charges in a custom duty evasion case to the tune of Rs 54 crore for exporting scrap to various countries.

Rastogi was handed over to a two-member CBI team led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police at New York after which he was brought to India to be produced before a designated court in Mumbai on Saturday, official sources said.

The CBI, which had launched a hot pursuit for the four Rastogi brothers - Virendra, Narendra, Ravindra and Subash -- since early 2000, will now bring back the third brother to India as his sentence in the US completed in June this year.

The US authorities had kept him in preventive custody and informed their Indian counterparts to send a team for his extradition.

He is required to undergo trial in 13 CBI cases ( seven charge-sheets) spread over different courts in Delhi and Mumbai.

The FBI had arrested Rastogi and three others in May 2002 for defrauding banks around the world of an estimated 600 million dollars by obtaining finance for Sham transactions and then pledging them as collaterals for loans.

When he was about to be extradited to India, the accused pleaded guilty before a New Jersey court which sentenced him to imprisonment till June 2008.

A CBI team led by the then Joint Director Neeraj Kumar, at present Special Commissioner in Delhi Police, had conducted investigation into the case and collected evidence before chargesheeting the four brothers in the case.

The CBI had then also managed to arrest Subash Rastogi and get extradited another brother Ravindra from Dubai.

Rastogi brothers - Ravindra, Narendra, Virendra, Subhash and their cousin Rakesh Kumar Rastogi -- had cheated the exchequer to the tune of Rs 54 crores in late 1980s and middle of 1990 by claiming false duty drawback from the Customs Department by showing fulfilment of false export obligations by submitting forged customs documents.

The case came to light after the Customs department in Bombay initiated a departmental enquiry against 18 of its officials for passing the consignment of one Allied Deals without any verification.

The Customs department had referred the matter of departmental action to Central Vigilance Commission, which in turn asked the CBI to probe the matter.

The CBI probe found that during the year 1989 to 1992, Rastogi Brothers had obtained 40 import licenses for importing in Zinc, Zinc Oxide, Copper sheet, Copper Foil, Brass Scrap and thereafter, these brothers in criminal conspiracy with Customs officers posted at check posts at Indo-Nepal border cheated government to the tune of Rs 13 crore by falsely showing fulfilment of its export obligations to the tune of Rs 75.74 crore on the basis of forged bills of Entries and other customs documents.

In mid nineties, the Rastogi brothers had floated 14 different firms in their names and had shown exports of bicycle parts to Russia and Hong Kong.

The bicycle parts which comprised brake shoes, brake screws, handle levers, brake button were grossly over invoiced for the purpose of claiming undue and wrongful duty drawback in connivance with certain Customs officials.

CBI was looking for Narendra Rastogi and his brothers in connection with the fraudulent duty drawback on exports of scrap material.

Virendra Rastogi, who is also wanted by the CBI, was recently sentenced by a London's Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud bank to the tune of several million dollars. The accused conned banks into funding non-existent metal trading deals using 324 fake companies that turned out to be based in small flats and shops, with few assets beyond a table and chair.

Virendra, who was earlier figured in the Sunday Times Rich List, was sentenced for nine years and six months. The modus operandi used by him in London was quite similar to that used in India.

The chargesheet also alleged that during investigations it was revealed that the purported supplier companies were found to be non-existing though payment for the alleged purchases have been shown by the accused through cheques.

  

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