The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) in a joint operation Wednesday booked four people for carrying undeclared genuine foreign currency, totalling Rs 3.2 crore, at three different airports across the country, according to sources in the two agencies. This is the first seizure of foreign currency, mostly US dollars, this fiscal, say the sources.
“In a joint operation we have seized foreign currency, mostly US dollars, in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. All of it was being sent to Singapore and Dubai. We have booked four carriers and the investigation is still on,” a DRI official told The Indian Express.
The investigative agencies suspect that this money could be unaccounted for and might have been for the same purpose.
“Under the current norms, there is no restriction on bringing in foreign currency to India or sending it out of the country. However, the foreign currency has to be declared to customs, while bringing or sending it, for record. But if the money is unaccounted for, people don’t declare it and try to send it out through hawala which could be a possibility in these cases,” said an official familiar with the case.
In Mumbai, the DRI and AIU has detained two individuals – Katu Bawa Ajmer Khaja and Mohammed Karim Shuba Sathik – travelling to Singapore in Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines flights, respectively. The two Mumbai passengers were carrying US $100000, each concealed in cardboard cartons, full of beaten rice, said official sources.
In Delhi too, a Singapore-bound passenger was detained by airport customs for carrying Rs 1 crore in US dollars on his way to Singapore. In Bangalore, a passenger onboard a Qatar Airlines flight to Dubai, was intercepted at 4 am on Wednesday, and booked for carrying undeclared foreign currency worth Rs 96 lakh.