Delay in giving clearance to shooters: Customs orders probe

first_imgNew Delhi, May 10 (PTI) Under flak, the Customs today ordered an inquiry to find out lapses, if any, on its part in giving clearance to sports gears, including pistols and rifles, of some Indian shooting team members on their arrival at Delhi airport.In a statement, the Customs made it clear that it was a preventive measure especially in wake of a recent case registered by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) against a national-level shooter last month.The Customs said investigations by the DRI has alleged that some sportspersons were misusing schemes of importing firearms from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here.”Considering the grave security implications of such violations, scrutiny for Customs clearance of arms and ammunition imported at IGI airport has since been intensified,” the statement said.The Customs clearance of arms and ammunition through baggage is now being done after thorough verification of facts or documents with the relevant authorities or investigating agency, it said.The 16 sportsperson, who were returning from an international shooting tournament, had arrived in the wee hours of May 9 and in view of the intensified verification, they were given an option by the Customs officers of getting their weapons deposited in the warehouse for their subsequent clearance after due verification.”While five of them agreed for such a deposit of arms and ammunition, the others opted to wait at the airport for the clearance of their arms and ammunition,” the statement said, adding that during this time, due courtesies were extended to the sportspersons by the Customs officers and they were also offered refreshments.advertisementThe matter was taken up with the concerned authorities on priority for verification and clearance and the arms and ammunitions of the sportspersons were cleared, it said.While regretting inconvenience, if any caused to the sportsmen, the Customs said an enquiry has been initiated to ascertain whether there was an undue delay in Customs clearance in this case.It said the Customs department is committed to facilitate the passengers while performing its duties for enforcement of various laws of the country.Steps are being taken to streamline the process of Customs clearance of arms and ammunition imported through baggage, it said.Beijing Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra had yesterday lashed out at the National Rifles Association of India (NRAI) for not coming to the aid of shooters and had asked would this happen to the countrys cricket team.Bindra had said the official team manager left the athletes “to fend for themselves”.”They (shooters) are our countrys ambassadors and should not be treated like this. Would this ever happen to our cricket team?,” he had asked. PTI AKV SKL KISlast_img

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *