Probe sought into passenger data leakage

What began as a simple investigation over non-payment of duty, the probe against the agency that runs the duty-free shop at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport may soon assume national importance with the ongoing probe pointing to a major leakage of crucial passenger data.

According to Sumit Kumar, Customs Commissioner, besides the loss of customs duty, the investigation has also brought out gross misuse of immigration data, fabrication of evidence and breach of national security. For instance, the probe revealed that agency had used the passport details of nearly 13,000 international passengers who had travelled through the airport between September and December 2017 for diverting foreign liquor to the black market.

“We will now be writing to the agencies including the State Excise Department, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), demanding a detailed probe into the security breach and official misconduct,” he said.

The department, on its part, has also launched an internal probe into the alleged collusion of its officers with the private agency to get the flight manifest and immigration details. The ongoing probe by the Customs has revealed a basic customs duty evasion of over ₹6 crore by Plus Max, which runs the duty free shop at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 3:07:17 am |