The various currencies seized from a Mala native at Nedumbassery airport on Wednesday night | A SAnesh
KOCHI: A Mala native was nabbed with foreign currency worth Rs 1.33 crore from Nedumbassery airport on Wednesday night, making it the second such seizure within 24 hours. An Afghan national was caught with foreign currency worth Rs 10.86 crore on Wednesday morning. Mala native Vishnu, 27, was about to board the Air India Express IX411 flight to Sharjah when security officers detected the money in his baggage. The notes were wrapped in newspaper and were detected by the computed tomography xray (CTX) scanner operated by the airport security wing.
“At the second layer of scanning, the machine detected the notes. Subsequently, we summoned the passenger for physical examination of the baggage during which the currencies were recovered,” said an officer.Customs commissioner Sumit Kumar said the passenger is being interrogated. The preliminary probe revealed he was employed by a racket to smuggle foreign currency.
“The passport details of the accused reveals he was travelling abroad for the first time. The passport was issued from Ernakulam recently. The passenger was a carrier acting for some cartel. His ticket was booked by some other person, whom we are tracking down. We suspect the passenger was promised remuneration and this will be revealed in the investigation,” he said.He said more personnel have been deployed at the departure zone where bags are screened. Since Wednesday, a team has been deployed to monitor baggage scanning.
“Similarly, we have also decided to increase surveillance at the cargo section where goods are screened by a private firm. We have also requested for body scanning machines so that smugglers don’t conceal gold and currencies in their bodies and go undetected during checking,” said Kumar.
Kumar will meet security officers of airline companies operating at the airport to sharpen intelligence gathering and enhance detection of contraband. Similarly, officers working for various agencies at the airport will be given classes on how to get information about smuggling.
“Informers and whistleblowers should come forward with information that will help us in curtailing the activities of smuggling cartels. The identity of the informers will never be revealed and they will be properly rewarded in case of successful detection of contraband,” said Kumar.
Duo remanded in judicial custody
Kochi: The Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (Economic Offence) remanded Mala native Vishnu, who was held with currency worth Rs 1.33 crore, in judicial custody till June 28. He was shifted to the Ernakulam District Jail. Customs officers said Afghan national Mohammad Siddiqui Yusafi, who was caught with foreign currency worth D10.86 crore, was produced before the magistrate at her residence and remanded. The Customs Department will seek the custody of the duo later.