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Foreign, Indian currency worth Rs 1.36 crore seized from garments in Chennai, two arrested

Chennai Air Customs officials on Thursday seized courier cartons, that were declared as containing garments, but had foreign and Indian currency hidden in them. The total value of the seized currency is Rs 1.36 crore. Two arrests have been made in the case.

The three parcels, which were bound for Singapore, had been intercepted at the International Courier Terminal, Chennai, based on specific intelligence on currency smuggling.

The first two parcels were declared to contain sarees and shawls. But on opening and examining the sarees, white envelopes were found, concealed in five sarees.

On opening these envelopes, 10,000 USD were found inside each. A total of 50,000 USD equivalent to Rs 37 lakhs was recovered. In the second carton too, white envelopes were found concealed inside 5 sarees.

1,86,500 Saudi Arabian Riyals were found inside 4 envelopes and 4000 Euros, 25000 Swiss Franc & 18000 Singapore Dollar were found inside the 5th envelope. Foreign currency equivalent to Rs 69.5 lakhs were recovered.

Total foreign currency equivalent to Rs 1.06 crore was recovered and seized. The third parcel was declared to contain shirts and leggings. However, on unfolding the shirts, white envelopes were found concealed inside 15 of them. On opening the envelopes, 2 lakh rupees in the denomination of 2000 were found inside each. Total Rs 30 lakhs of Indian currency was recovered and seized.

“This is the first haul of currency being hidden in envelopes placed in packed garments. Earlier we had seen attempts to smuggle currency that was hidden in moulded steel plates, which was also booked as a courier,” said Rajan Chaudhary, Commissioner Customs.

A total of foreign and Indian currency worth Rs 1.36 crore was seized under Customs Act 1962 r/w F.E.M. (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015. The courier parcels were booked by two Chennai based persons who were engaged in the photography business. The persons have been arrested.