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  Metros   Mumbai  27 Jul 2018  DRI busts million-dollar cash smuggling racket

DRI busts million-dollar cash smuggling racket

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 27, 2018, 2:27 am IST
Updated : Jul 27, 2018, 2:27 am IST

The passengers were detained just minutes before boarding their respective flights to Dubai and Bangkok.

Around half to one hour before boarding, the international passengers would exchange bags with the domestic passengers and proceed to the boarding gates.
 Around half to one hour before boarding, the international passengers would exchange bags with the domestic passengers and proceed to the boarding gates.

Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a foreign currency smuggling racket involving millions of dollars that operated as an organised syndicate.

Acting on a tip-off received from abroad, a crack team of sleuths from the DRI carried out raids during the intervening night between Wednesday and Thursday at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), and intercepted four passengers headed to Dubai and Bangkok in two separate flights.

The passengers were detained just minutes before boarding their respective flights. Upon searching their hand-baggage, the DRI recovered USD 4.10 lakh (about `2.75 crore) from four laptop bags.

Investigation revealed that the cartel had devised a unique way of smuggling foreign currency that involved booking tickets for members on domestic routes through Air India. Some others would be booked for international travel, all within a few hours of each other.

A DRI officer said, “The foreign currency to be smuggled would be carried by domestic passengers, who would hand over the same in carefully sealed laptop bags to their counterparts travelling abroad at the food court of T2, Mumbai airport. The international passengers by then had completed their check-in formalities and passed through baggage screening.”

Around half to one hour before boarding, the international passengers would exchange bags with the domestic passengers and proceed to the boarding gates.

In the current case, multiple teams of DRI were deployed at T2 on the night of July 24. At around 1.20am, two passengers were intercepted when they were about to board their flight to Dubai.

Simultaneously, another team of DRI intercepted two more passengers when they were about to board their flight to Bangkok.

Subsequently, the four passengers who had booked tickets to travel to Goa were picked up. In all, eight individuals were arrested in connection with the case, said DRI officials.

Tags: directorate of revenue intelligence, foreign currency smuggling