INDIA. Mumbai: The customs officials at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai, seized USD 90,000 (Rs 81 lakh) in currency notes from two foreign passengers who had hidden them inside a book, officials stated on Tuesday.
“On 22-23, Jan Mumbai Airport Customs intercepted two foreign nationals in two separate cases and seized 90,000 USD concealed in pages of books and over 2.5 Kg of gold in paste form concealed in undergarments, respectively. Both the passengers have been arrested,” Mumbai Customs III tweeted.
A passenger was intercepted based on intelligence inputs. When his luggage was checked, it was found that he was hiding dollars between the pages of a book that he was carrying.
On being questioned, he could not produce valid documents to carry such a huge amount of foreign currency. Another passenger had concealed over 2.5 kg of gold in paste form in his undergarment.
The recovered foreign currencies and gold were seized under Section 110 of the Customs Act, and the passengers were arrested under Section 104 of the Customs Act. They were remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a special court in Mumbai. During the examination, the officials learned that they were involved in smuggling.
Earlier this month, the Mumbai Airport Customs seized foreign currencies equivalent to Rs 1.5 crore from an Indian passenger travelling to Dubai. Currency notes included USD, pounds, riyals, and dirhams ingeniously concealed in the side walls of two fruit cartons. Customs officials are tracing the suppliers and recipients of foreign currency and gold.
Seizures at the Mumbai airport this month
Foreign currencies worth Rs 1.5 crore were hidden in fruit cartons on January 10; on January 6, 2.81 kg of cocaine worth Rs 28.10 crore was hidden in a duffle bag. Also, 1.596 kg of cocaine worth Rs 15.96 crore was found cleverly hidden in clothes buttons on the same day.
On January 5, four lakh cigarette sticks valued at Rs 30 lakh were impounded, and on January 4-4.47 kg of heroin valued at Rs 31.29 crore was found hidden in folder covers.