Customs officials at the Chennai airport on Saturday seized 10 brand new rifle scopes which had been sent in an unaccompanied baggage from Dubai.
Airport sources said a total of 21 consignments arrived at the air cargo complex, of which 10 were found to contain the rifle scopes, which were to be sent only as a regular parcel and not in the baggage.
The authorities seized and kept them under their custody. The sender of the baggage had not declared the items in the consignment and the passenger in whose name it was booked to Chennai was also not aware of the contents of the consignment.
The passenger’s materials were few and the scopes had been discreetly hidden and sent to Chennai to be delivered to someone.
A senior Customs officer said the scopes could be attached to any rifle or air gun used in sports. The scopes are high-range variety and could be used to view up to 400 m. With the information reaching the Suburban police, Commissioner S. R. Jangid visited the cargo complex and inspected the seized scopes.
Police sources said the consignment was sent to Vijayendran of Tirunelveli and the receiver was from outside the State, they said. The police on their part were investigating the termination point of the scopes, which needed to be verified, the sources said.
The officials were concerned about the illegal import of scopes as they attracted Customs Duty if brought in through the right channel. On their part, the Customs authorities are investigating whether the scopes were illegally brought through the unaccompanied baggage to evade Customs Duty.