In a major operation, customs officials at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport recently made an unprecedented seizure of foreign currency, worth over ₹ 10 crore, from three Tajikistan nationals. The smuggling attempt was foiled when the accused were intercepted by vigilant officials while they were about to board a flight to Istanbul. The foreign currency, totaling USD 7,20,000 and Euro 4,66,200, was cunningly concealed inside shoes within their luggage.
The incident unfolded on a Friday when customs officials noticed suspicious behavior from three Tajikistan nationals who were heading towards an Istanbul-bound flight. The officials promptly intervened, conducting a detailed examination of their luggage. During the search, they discovered the foreign currency stashed inside shoes, which raised serious concerns. The magnitude of this seizure is unparalleled in the history of smuggling of foreign currency through Indian airports. The cumulative value of the seized currency, amounting to ₹ 10.6 Crore, has set a new benchmark for such cases, according to the customs department.
In response to the incident, the customs department issued an official statement. The statement highlighted the successful interception of the three Tajikistan nationals, leading to the recovery of a substantial amount of foreign currency. The confiscated amount was an equivalent of ₹ 10.6 Crore, comprising USD 7,20,000 and Euro 4,66,200. The customs authorities have initiated a thorough investigation into the matter to determine the origins and destination of the smuggled foreign currency. The investigation aims to unearth the entire network involved in this illegal activity and to ascertain whether the individuals apprehended were part of a larger syndicate.
The incident has raised concerns about the need for enhanced security measures at airports to prevent such smuggling attempts in the future. Customs officials are working closely with airport authorities to identify any potential vulnerabilities and fortify the existing security protocols. Given the international aspect of the case, the Indian authorities are collaborating with their counterparts in Tajikistan and Istanbul to trace the source of the smuggled currency and any potential connections to transnational criminal organizations. This joint effort aims to dismantle smuggling networks and curb the flow of illicit funds across borders.
The three Tajikistan nationals involved in the smuggling attempt will face severe legal consequences under Indian law. Smuggling foreign currency is a serious offense that attracts stringent penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines. The authorities are committed to ensuring that those involved in such illegal activities are held accountable for their actions.
The “biggest ever” seizure of foreign currency at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport highlights the vigilance and efficiency of the customs officials in safeguarding the nation’s borders. This incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle against illicit financial activities, and the need for continuous improvement in airport security measures. By thwarting such smuggling attempts, the customs department has not only protected India’s financial integrity but also sent a strong message to potential wrongdoers that such acts will not go unpunished.