CHENNAI: Foreign currency worth Rs 62.26 lakh and 1.2 kg of gold worth Rs 36.47 lakh were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from Chennai and Trichy international airports respectively.
DRI sources said its Chennai unit has been working on illegal transfer of cash by frequent passengers of Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL26 from Chennai to Singapore through Colombo.
On Friday, they questioned 27 passengers and it was found that five of them had foreign currency given by regular traders outside Chennai Airport to be handed over to some passengers during the flight to Colombo.
DRI also said 22 passengers did not have any document for the purchase or possession of foreign currency and they admitted smuggling foreign currency for a commission.
These passengers possessed US dollars, Euro, Thai Baht and Singapore dollars together worth Rs 62.26 lakh. They had violated the Customs Act and Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations 2000.
Similarly, the DRI seized 1.2 kg of gold worth Rs 36.47 lakh from a passenger after he arrived from Kuala Lumpur by flight. DRI sources said that based on a tip that a passenger from Malaysia would be smuggling gold, DRI sleuths detained Shahul Hameed Abbas Jabbar after he arrived from Kuala Lumpur by a Malindo flight.
While checking his baggage, the DRI officials recovered a passport holder with 12 gold biscuits with foreign marks ‘Valcambi Suisse’, each 100g. The passport holder was thickly wrapped with black insulation tape.