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Kingston importers allege theft at Delhi customs

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DQW Bureau
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size="3">Some

of the major importers of href="https://www.dqweek.com/kingston-targeting-100-mn-from-india-sales">Kingston

memory products into the country

have been facing a situation wherein quite a few of their goods are

stolen from the consignments they bring in. This has been going on

for some time and especially more so from April onwards. While there

is no hard evidence to prove who is responsible for the thefts, there

are allegations that the location where the theft takes place is none

other than the customs warehouse in the New Delhi airport. Acting on

information from Kingston, DQ Week decided to talk to those affected.

Some of these are Vishal Video based out Mumbai, Shreepati Computech

based out of New Delhi and HCL which also distributes Kingston

products across the nation. In fact another Mumbai-based importer

called Sunrise Info Solutions very recently was added to the list of

victims however chose not to comment on the issue over the phone when

contacted.

size="3">Shreepati

Computech in the month of June had two incidents when goods were

stolen, once in the first week of the month and the latest in the

last week of the month. In the most recent case, around 800 units of

2GB memory cards were stolen amounting to approximately Rs 1, 80,000

in value. Director Ashok Jain explained the supply chain process.

“Kingston is based out Taiwan and so we place our orders at the

Taiwan office. From there a release order is sent to the

manufacturing facility at Shenzen, China. From China the goods are

sent to India via air through a carrier agency. The consignment comes

directly to the New Delhi airport where it is then inspected by the

customs officers and after their approval it is sent to the airport

customs warehouse. From the warehouse our transporter collects the

goods and then finally brings it to our godown in Delhi. Somewhere

along this entire line of goods changing hands, there is some foul

play happening,” said Jain. An employee of HCL spoke regarding the

issue on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak

to the media. “We have also faced issues of theft on and off from

shipments that come via New Delhi airport. We typically have

shipments of around twenty to thirty thousand memory cards each and

in every second shipment or so there are around 500 to 1500 cards

that are stolen,” said the HCL representative.

size="3">Vinit

Aggarwal of Vishal Video highlighted what had happened with his

company. “There have been two specific instances in the recent past

where in the first case, 300 units of 4GB SD cards were stolen and in

the second case had around 800 units of 4GB SD cards which were

taken. The total amount of combined loss from both these cases

amounts to well over Rs three lakhs.”

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size="3">Shreepati's

Jain theorized as to where the fault could be. “In my opinion I

would say that the theft is happening from the customs warehouse. I

have concluded this based on the fact that till the shipment reaches

Delhi airport, Kingston is in charge with documented proof of each

move. From the customs warehouse to our godown is taken care of by my

transporter and I have done my background check to see if the trouble

is at my end and he has come clean. Even my own agent is able to go

along with the customs officials up till the warehouse beyond which

there is no entry allowed to unauthorized personnel. The goods lie in

the warehouse for around two to three days awaiting clearance and

this is the stage where I feel stuff gets stolen from our shipments.”

Aggarwal agreed, “This phenomenon is happening with most of the

memory card importers and so the only common link is the customs

channel and since the matter of theft is affecting almost everybody,

I believe the issue lies at the customs warehouse.”

size="3">Asked

as to why mainly memory cards are stolen and not the pen drives, HCL

employee replied, “Memory cards have a smaller form factor and it's

easier to steal and conceal these goods as compared to pen drives.”

Jain also said, “With pen drives it is a little easier to track

down to which gray channel the stolen goods are going because of the

importers code on the packs. For memory cards it is not that easy.”

size="3">So

what are some of these dealers doing now? “We have got in touch

with people at GMR Infrastructure who are the ones looking after

airport operations and they have promised to monitor and check our

consignment very carefully when it makes its transit inside the

airport area. This has worked for us at least for the time being,”

said Aggarwal. “We tried to claim insurance but it gets difficult

because we need to file an FIR and you know how the police can be,”

rued Jain.

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