Man held trying to smuggle Rs 25L at Mumbai airport's T2
A Kerala-based man was arrested with Rs 25 lakh new currency notes — all in Rs 2,000 denomination — at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 11 pm on Monday
Arif Koyante, who was arrested for carrying the money
A Kerala-based man was arrested with Rs 25 lakh new currency notes — all in Rs 2,000 denomination — at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 11 pm on Monday.
The accused, Arif Koyante, was headed from Mumbai to Dubai, when he was profiled by AIU officials. After a thorough search of his baggage, the cash was found concealed in 52 envelopes, which were tucked inside layers of 13 cardboards. The currency has been seized by the Customs Department on the belief that it was being smuggled out of the country and therefore liable for confiscation under the Customs Act 1962, along with the FEMA 2000.
Koyante has admitted to possession, and is believed to be a carrier whose job was to transport the money to Dubai. Although the passenger was released on a bail of R1 lakh, he will be required to comply and produce himself before the AIU until the investigation is complete.
How it happened
Pradnyasheel Jumle, Deputy Commissioner, AIU, Mumbai Customs said, “The accused had arrived in Mumbai on Saturday night, and took possession of the currency in the city. We have identified the name and picture of the person who is believed to have given him the currency, but will not be revealing that until investigation is on.” According to him, once the carrier landed in Dubai, he would receive a call and hand over the cash to the concerned person.
Describing the carrier’s role as limited, Jumle went on to explain how he was arrested. “Our officers are posted in civil dress near the airline counters where passengers come to collect their boarding passes,” he said. “We observe all the passengers approaching the counters and based on certain parameters, we identify them and keep an eye on them while they go through customs and immigration. Only once they complete these formalities, can the case be strengthened. His activities looked suspicious; we told the airline counter to keep his check-in bag on hold.” Once the passenger had completed his required formalities, AIU officials asked him to step away from the queue he was standing in, and asked him a few questions, which the passenger failed to answer satisfactorily, leading to officials checking his baggage and finding the concealed cash.
“The money will remain with the Customs department until we finalise our investigation and issue a show cause notice to the accused, in which we will propose charges against him,” concluded Jumle.
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