Central Bureau of Investigation conducted raids across 19 premises in Mumbai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad in lieu of an alleged illegal import of hazardous betel nuts, areca nuts and rotten nuts by evading customs duty.
According to the CBI this has caused the government "huge losses" adding up to nearly Rs 15,000 crore every year.
The FIR lodged by the CBI states that these nuts are being imported and declared as cashew peels to avoid any further lab tests and detection, as per an Indian Express report.
The investigating agency has also further alleged that those traders in collusion with public servants partook in "smuggling of substandard Betel Nuts/Areca Nuts of Indonesian origin and falsely claimed the same to be originating from the SAARC members countries".
This they add, was done on the basis of fake certificates of origin, bogus and undervalued bills/invoices and forging clearance certificates, thus leading to evasion of customs duty.
The CBI has earlier on March 5 said it registered a case against unknown customs officials and private persons after an order issued by the Bombay High Court in February which ordered it CBI investigate the matter.