The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence made another seizure of electronic goods from the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on Friday night.
The Chennai wing of DRI had arrested one person on Wednesday in connection with seizure of electronic goods worth Rs. 1.35 crore. The material, brought in as unaccompanied baggage from Singapore to Kochi, consisted of digital cameras, video cameras, phones and watches. The consignment was being taken to Chennai by road, when the DRI officials stopped it at Sriperumpathur toll gate.
During the follow-up checking made at CIAL here, another consignment of electronic goods worth Rs.1.25 Crore was seized. Senior DRI officials said that it should be suspected that the method of smuggling in electronic goods without proper declaration was being tried out from August onwards.
The passenger who claimed the baggage on Friday and a couple of others were being interrogated. All the consignments were addressed to Chennai, DRI sources said.
Our Airport Correspondent adds:
Official sources at the airport confirmed that the seized consignment was brought in as personal household goods and the customs unit at the airport here had given a clearance to it. According to them, primary investigations pointed to the involvement of a contraband goods smuggling racket which had been engaged in smuggling goods into the country through Kochi from Singapore and the exact magnitude of the scandal could be estimated only on preparing the final report. A couple of customs officials at the airport were interrogated during a follow-up search that had begun on Friday afternoon and continued till the early hours of Saturday.
Earlier on Friday, two customs preventive officers and their superintendent were transferred to the Kochi Customs house in connection with the incident. “On the basis of the final investigation report from the DRI, stern action will be initiated against those officials found to be having any connections with the smuggling racket,” said a senior customs official.