NEDUMBASSERY: Second foreign seizure in a span of 20 hours reported at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), Nedumbassery, as a Mala native was nabbed with various foreign currencies worth Rs 1.33 crores on Tuesday night. An Afghan national was arrested with Rs 10.86 crores of foreign currencies at Nedumbassery airport on Tuesday morning.
The arrested was identified as Vishnu, 27 a native of Mala. The passenger was to board an Air India Express IX411 to Sharjah before currencies were detected from his baggage. The currencies were wrapped with newspaper inside Babycare carry bag. The currencies were detected by the Computed Tomography Xray (CTX) scanner operated by security wing of CIAL.
The detected currencies were- 798 note of 100 denomination US Dollar (USD), 22 pieces of 50 USD, 409 notes of 500 Saudi Riyal (SR), 65 notes of 100 SR, 79 notes of 1000 UAE Dinar (AED), 291 notes of 500 AED, 37 currencies of 200 AED, 56 notes of 100 AED, 14 currencies of 20 Kuwait Dinar (KD), 3 notes of 10 KD, 4 notes of 5 KD, 11 notes of 20 Bahrain Dinar and 1 currency of 50 Oman Riyal. The total values of the currencies were Rs 1,33,10,984.
"At the second layer scanning, the notes were detected by the machine. Subsequently, we summoned the passenger for physical examination of the baggage during which the currencies were recovered," an officer with CIAL said.
Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said the passenger is being interrogated by the officers. The preliminary investigation revealed that accused was employed by racket to transport foreign currencies abroad.
"The passport details of the accused reveals that he was travelling abroad for the first time. The passport was issued from Ernakulam recently. The passenger was a carrier acting for some cartels. The ticket was booked by some other persons whom we are tracking down. We suspect that passenger was promised remuneration and this would be revealed in the investigation," Sumit Kumar.
The arrest of the accused person would be recorded later and he would be produced before Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offence).
Security measure raised at Airport.
After recent foreign seizures, the Customs department has deployed more persons at departure area to detect smuggling of contraband. "More units have been deployed at departure place where screening of baggage takes place.
From Wednesday a team has been deployed to monitor the baggage scanning. Similarly, we have also decided to increase surveillance work at Air Cargo section where screening of goods is carried out by a private firm.
We also have requested to provide body scanning machines so that smugglers do not conceal gold and currencies in the body and go undetected during the checking," Sumit Kumar said.
Intensify Intelligence Gathering Work.
The Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar has decided to meet security officers of airline companies operating from Nedumbassery airport to sharpen the Intelligence gathering and enhance detection of contraband.
Similarly, officers working for various agencies working at the airport would be provided with classes to get information about smuggling activities.
"The informers and whistleblowers should come forward with information that will help us curtailing activities of cartels. The identity of the informers will never be revealed and they will be properly rewarded in case of successful detection of contraband," Sumit Kumar said.