Missed flight lands Customs official in CBI net

Cash seized from a passenger’s baggage in Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru on January 19, 2021. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A Superintendent of Customs who missed his flight while in transit has landed in trouble after ₹74.81 lakh was found in his baggage at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, on January 19.

The CBI, Chennai, has registered a disproportionate assets case against the official.

The agency’s Anti-Corruption Branch booked Mohammed Irfan Ahmed, Superintendent of Customs, Air Intelligence Unit, Chennai, and his wife under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

They were booked on a scheduled Indigo flight to Lucknow from Chennai via Bengaluru but missed the connecting flight to Lucknow. When their baggage was checked at the Bengaluru airport, Air Intelligence Unit (Income Tax Department) found ₹74,81,500, gold jewellery weighing 169.05 grams and some mobile phones. The officials seized the money after the couple failed to account for it satisfactorily, the First Information Report said.

The Income Tax department conducted a search on the residence of the official and found ₹64,500 along with gold and silver ornaments valued at ₹2.84 lakh. Though Mr. Ahmed and his wife claimed that the money seized was borrowed from their relatives, further enquiries revealed that it was not true.

Investigators said Mr. Ahmed joined service as Preventive Officer, Customs Department, Customs House, Chennai, on February 24, 2016 and was promoted as Superintendent of Customs on January 1, 2020. He served as Superintendent of Customs, Air Intelligence Unit, Chennai, till January 21, 2021.

Calculating the income, expenses and possession of valuables during the check period (July 13, 2020 to January 21, 2021), the CBI in the FIR said that the official while working as Superintendent of Customs, Air Intelligence Unit, Chennai, acquired assets in his name and in the name of his wife to the tune of ₹75,64,725, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 5:46:07 PM |

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