From Hyderabad and Delhi to Bangladesh to China, that is the new route for human hair smugglers. Hair worth crores is shipped by declaring it as 'waste' and by resorting to undervaluation.
Indian exporters said around 150-200 tonnes of human hair worth Rs 120 crore (Tk 140 cr) is lying in warehouses and is ready to be smuggled out, reports Times of India.
Exporters misdeclaring human hair as rubbish was discovered by Delhi customs officers who recently registered two instances. Officials claim that smugglers are passing off A-grade human hair varieties as garbage or "cotton" and exporting them. Previously, traffickers used Myanmar as a route for smuggling human hair to China.
In April, a shipment worth $71,400 was delivered from Delhi to Bangladesh at a rate of $70 per kg, while another shipment worth $9,500 was transported at a rate of $20 per kg. A $4.3 lakh consignment was supplied at a rate of $60 per kg. In the same month, $58,500 worth of human hair was shipped from Hyderabad at a rate of $20 per kilogram.
A customs official agreed that undervaluation was still happening. "Though they didn't stop Myanmar route, they have opened up Bangladesh route. There have been instances where the consignee will be in Myanmar but the goods are exported to Singapore and from there to China," he told TOI.
President of Human Hair and Hair Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association of India Benjamin Cherian said, "We have evaluated the material seized by the customs officials in Delhi recently and found that the price of this human hair variety is Rs 5,500 per kg. The hair which our member has checked clearly shows that the product is hairball which is known as 'gutha', 'goli' or 'chutti' (very good quality). It falls under the HSN code: 0501 whereas the detained goods exporter claimed that it was human hair waste."
Meanwhile, customs officials at Kolkata have tightened the measures due to which the smugglers are looking towards Delhi and Hyderabad.