A 35-year-old man was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi for allegedly attempting to smuggle Indian currency worth Rs 17.50 lakh to Dhaka by air, a senior customs official said on Monday.
The arrest at the airport on Saturday came after Customs officials received an intelligence input about smuggling of currency. The man has been identified as Mohd Hafeez Abbas.
Customs officials first intercepted Abbas and Fardeen Ansari (32), who were to board a flight to Dhaka on Saturday evening. They had cleared the security check and were to board the aircraft when they were intercepted.
During searches, five lakh worth Bangladeshi taka was recovered from Abbas' hand bag while another 4.5 lakh taka was seized from Ansari.
Customs officials then got their checked-in baggage searched. "We found Rs 17.5 lakh in Indian currency and 11.5 lakh in taka from Abbas' baggage. Interestingly, 30 kg of khoya, a milk product used in making sweets, was used to conceal the currency. Besides, voice recorders and anabolic steroids used for sports prowess enhancement were also recovered," Additional Commissioner of Customs (IGI) Ashutosh Baranwal said in a statement.
During interrogation, he said, Abbas owned up the foreign currency found in the hand baggage of Ansari. Abbas was then placed under arrest while Ansari was let off.
Abbas was arrested for smuggling Indian currency to a foreign land. According to law, Indians going abroad are allowed to take with them Indian currency not exceeding Rs 7,500.
As per export of currency norms, Indians going abroad are permitted to take with them foreign currency without any limit provided they have procured it from an authorised foreign exchange dealer.