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Mumbai crime: Courier employee caught in silver smuggling racket

Customs seized 55 kg silver from office of Aramex couriers, whose employee is allegedly involved in the smuggling, reportedly cleared without Customs procedures

An employee of Aramex has been caught in a smuggling case after Customs officers seized 55 kg from the courier agency’s office. The jewellery intercepted in the company’s MIDC office, Andheri was allegedly cleared without Customs procedures and clearance. It is believed that the consignment worth Rs 22 lakh left the terminal in two packages.

Mumbai customs seized silver worth Rs 22 lakh from the office of Aramex courier agency and the employee is under suspicion for being involved. Representation pic/Thinkstock
Mumbai customs seized silver worth Rs 22 lakh from the office of Aramex courier agency and the employee is under suspicion for being involved. Representation pic/Thinkstock

While Vikas Nair, the deputy commissioner of courier cell has confirmed the incident, when mid-day tried to get in touch with the additional commissioner of airport customs, Milind Lanjewar, he refused to comment, saying the investigation is ongoing.

A bigger scam?
According to sources, the involvement of Export Inspection Council of India (EICI), the custodian of Customs Courier Terminal and its staff, is also being looked into, as a consignment as large as 55 kg could not have passed without inside assistance.

An official, on the condition of anonymity said, “The employee of Aramex is being questioned and he admitted clearing the package without Customs procedures.” mid-day also learnt that Aramex has not been given licence extension beyond April 30 by the Courier Cell, which provides clearance of imports and exports for courier agencies, allegedly because of the the case.

Senior spokesperson of Aramex said, “There has been a case of seizure on April 22 and Aramex has been cooperating with the Customs. We are a global company, which means that there are certain rules and norms that we follow.” When asked about the company’s expired licence, he said, “We have been informed that the licence hasn’t been renewed, however, this incident is not the reason for it.”

How does EICI work?
Once a flight lands, packages go through Customs clearance. The EICI keeps check on the count of packages loaded in the truck. For example, if 20 packages are cleared by Customs, it is the responsibility of EICI to ensure that the same number goes out of the terminal.

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