In the biggest such haul, the Customs officials today seized foreign currencies of seven different countries equivalent to Rs 3.96 crore at the international airport here after foiling a smuggling attempt. Two persons, including a passenger, were arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle out the foreign currency.
“Based on a specific intelligence, the officials of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs intercepted a passenger when he was about to board a flight to Dubai after passing immigration and Customs counter,” said Principal Commissioner of Customs (Hyderabad Commissionerate) A K Jain. He said the passenger had placed the currency in six bundles in the checked-in bag which was sent for loading by the airline staff.
The bag was retrieved from the baggage belt of the airlines and the passenger was picked up for questioning, the principal commissioner said. “On examination of the baggage, foreign currency worth Rs 3.96 crore was recovered. This is one of the biggest seizures of foreign currency at the airport,” Jain said.
He said another person was held from outside the airport for allegedly arranging the foreign currency for the passenger. The operation was conducted by the Customs in coordination with the Hyderabad Police and with the assistance of CISF personnel, Jain said, adding that further investigation is underway.
In a separate incident at the international airport, Customs officials last night seized 216 grams of gold, worth Rs 6.57 lakh, from a passenger who had allegedly concealed it in a mobile phone box. The passenger, who had arrived from Muscat, was intercepted by the AIU officials and during questioning it was found that he had concealed two gold bars in the mobile phone box and passed through green channel with an intention to evade payment of Customs duty, an official said.
Further investigation is on.