After seizure of contraband worth ₹14 crore, 20 Customs officials transferred from Chennai airport

The seizures were made following a search of 113 passengers who had flown in from Oman to Chennai last week

Updated - September 20, 2023 11:50 am IST

Published - September 20, 2023 11:08 am IST - CHENNAI

As many as 20 Customs officials, including four superintendents in Chennai, were transferred, following a massive search by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Customs officials, on 113 passengers, which resulted in the seizure of ₹14 crore worth goods at the Chennai airport recently.

Last week, more than 100 passengers who came by a flight from Oman to Chennai, were detained at the airport on charges of smuggling large quantities of gold, iPhones and laptops. Sources said 186 passengers were initially detained for searching. Subsequently, 73 passengers were cleared of any involvement in smuggling and were allowed to proceed to their destinations.

However, the remaining 113 passengers faced a more extensive search. During these searches a significant cache of contraband was discovered. Hidden in various ways were: 13 kg of gold, including both bars and paste, along with 204 phones (120 iPhones and 84 Android phones), foreign cigarettes, processed saffron and laptops. The estimated international value of these seized items was nearly ₹14 crore, sources said. All those who were detained and booked under the Customs Act were subsequently released on bail.

Sources said the 20 officers were relieved and repatriated on administrative grounds.

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