Under Operation Cheque Shirts, using data analytics, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence developed specific intelligence on two passengers intending to smuggle foreign currency outside India. DRI officers intercepted these two passengers at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai, in the early hours of 26th November 2021. They were scheduled to travel to Sharjah. Examination of their baggage yielded foreign currency in the form of US Dollars and Saudi Dirhams, valued at Rs 3.7 crore.
The foreign currency was found concealed deep in ingeniously designed false bottoms of the carry-on luggage. The mode and manner of concealment would have made the detection difficult in ordinary baggage scans.
The two intercepted passengers had no documents for the illicit possession or for legal export of the said foreign currency. The foreign currency recovered from these passengers has been seized in terms of Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigations in the matter are on.
Besides amounting to “smuggling” in terms of the Customs Act, illicit export of foreign currency provides a means for laundering proceeds of unlawful and criminal activities. Further, it also poses a grave threat to national economy and national security.
DRI maintains an active vigil and operational readiness to check the smuggling of foreign currency, gold, narcotics and other contraband goods into and out of India. This was the fourth such case of large foreign currency seizure at an international airport, in the last one and a half months.