Mangaluru: There has been a considerable jump in the contraband seized at the Mangaluru International Airport this year as compared to earlier years. Smuggled gold caught at the airport has risen three folds in the past year alone.
In the period of January to June 2018, the customs department seized 22.97 kg contraband gold worth Rs 7.06 Crore, as compared to just 7.98 kgs (Rs 2.28 Crore) in 2017, said Customs Commissioner Dr. M Subramanyam in a press release.
It is a cat and mouse game between the smugglers and the customs officials. Vigilant customs officials unravelled several new modus operandi of the smugglers wherein 12.59 kgs of gold valued at Rs 3.86 Crore was cleverly concealed as foils in between layers of papers of cardboard cartons, chess and ludo playboards, cardboard of crockery sets, inside lining of trolley bag covers etc. Contraband was also detected in refills of pens, buckles, buttons, ladies inner garments, as silver coloured beads on Burkhas, zip sliders of bags, inside pencil sharpeners, mobile chargers and mouth organ.
This year alone 40 cases were registered against passengers for various contraventions, the commissioner said.
In addition to these seizures of concealed gold during this year, the officers have also registered 10 cases against passengers who attempted to smuggle foreign currency notes equivalent to Rs 69.24 Lakh which were procured illicitly and attempted to be smuggled out of the country, the press release said.
Due to the ever-changing methods of the smugglers, the officers are adopting several innovative measures including advanced passenger information system, feedback from other intelligence agencies and field formations, gathering actionable clues from various sources, monitoring the movement of the passengers and effective constant coordination with other stakeholders mainly alert and vigilant airlines security staff. Such coordinated and concerted efforts are acting as a stringent deterrent against such smuggling activities.
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