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Chinese Human Hair Scam Busted in Hyderabad as Officials Clamp Down on Undervalued Exports

Human hair trade | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

Human hair trade | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

Hyderabad has become a hub of illegal hair exports where Chinese importers file lower invoices for the product in order to evade import duty on them in countries like China and Myanmar.

In a shocking discovery, manufacturers and exporters of human hair in India have come across a scam being run by certain Chinese nationals who are smuggling human hair out of Hyderabad to China through Myanmar. According to reports, Hyderabad has become a hub of illegal hair exports to China. Here, Chinese importers file lower invoices for the product in order to evade import duty on them in countries like China and Myanmar.

A complaint in the matter has been raised by the Indian traders with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Times of India reported.

The hair export business is a booming one in India which was worth Rs 132 crore in 2016-17. Human hair is generally bought from shrines etc, processed and exported to other countries. However, hair exporters in India face several challenges including illegal hair smuggling and under-invoicing from Chinese importers.

Undervalued exports have been on the radar of Indian authorities for some time. In March this year, the Customs Department arrested two people, including one businessman from Kolkata in a bid to tighten its noose around the hair importers of undervalued raw hair exports.

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Industry sources said that the Kolkata Customs is tightening the noose on undervalued raw hair exports, as the officers of the Department on Thursday raided the office of an established businessman connected with the human hair trade, IANS reported.

The Kolkata Customs Department also sent an alert to Hyderabad and other zones, warning authorities to be wary of undervalued exports by “certain exporters who are artificially decreasing the value of the consignments of human hair”.

Smuggling of human hair is a problem in China too where 10 hair smugglers were recently arrested and authorities confiscated human hair worth $167 million from them. Recent reports found that despite the pandemic, the human hair trade in China is booming.

(With inputs from Agencies)

first published:April 06, 2021, 14:18 IST