Foreign cigarettes worth around 6 lakh were seized from two passengers who arrived at the Cochin International Airport here on Wednesday. The officers of Air Intelligence unit of the Customs stopped Mohiudeen Bikal of Gulbarga and Kunhimohammed Majeed of Mangalore on their arrival from Dubai via Bahrain by an early morning Gulf Air flight.

They were intercepted by the team led by Deputy Commissioner C. Madhavan and Assistant Commissioner S. Anil Kumar while trying to get out through green channel without declaring the goods and 359 cartons of cigarettes inside the checked-in baggage. The seized cigarettes, of brands like Dunhill, Davidaff and Gudang Garam, also didn’t have the prescribed statutory warning as required by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This is the second largest seizure of cigarettes from CIAL. The Customs had seized 642 cartons of foreign cigarettes, worth more than Rs. four lakh in November. The accused were using the same route, from Dubai via Baharain, to bring in the goods then.

Taxi driver held

A taxi driver was arrested by the Town South Police on charges of stealing ATM card of a tourist and withdrawing money. The incident occurred on January 1 when Krishnasivan from Mumbai came to the State on a pilgrimage. He reached here on December 30, hired the cab driven by the accused, Vibin, 21, of Thrissur, and visited Guruvayoor, Kodungallur, Thriprayar, Chottanikkara, Vaikom and Ettumanur and returned to Mumbai by train on January 1. While onboard, Krishnasivan got text messages from the bank reporting withdrawal of money from ATM. On reaching Mumbai, he contacted Canara Bank, which had issued the card, and learnt that the money was withdrawn from the ATM counter at Ernakulam South. Following this, he filed a complaint through email. The team under sub-inspector V. Gopakumar collected the visuals recorded in the surveillance camera inside the ATM counter and narrowed down on the suspect after Krishnasivan identified the driver and gave registration number of the cab. Vibin was arrested from Thrissur. During interrogation, he confessed to having stolen the card along with the PIN scribbled on a piece of paper kept inside the cover. He then withdrew Rs. 20,500 in five different transactions.

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