Last year, the airport Customs at Chennai has recorded a 67 per cent rise in cases booked for smuggling attempts, said officials, adding that there has also been an increase in the value of seized articles to the tune of 63 per cent. This is when compared to the 2018 figures.
Similarly, the value of the total seizure in 2019 was pegged at Rs 140 crore, up from Rs 85.64 crore the previous year, an official statement said. This is an increase of 63 per cent.
Among the seized valuables, gold has shown notable increase to touch 355 kg, worth Rs 123 crore. This marks an increase of 123 kg (52.6 per cent) over 2018.
The Customs has booked 841 gold cases in 2019, up from 389 cases the previous year. In all, 113 persons were arrested for smuggling gold last year, while it was only 36 in 2018.
The press release added that Customs performed better than their counterparts at other airports when it came to wildlife seizure. In 2019, officials booked 14 of wildlife smuggling, compared to just 3 cases in 2018.
In the case of foreign currency seizures, the Chennai airport customs has seized currency worth Rs 10 crore. Among other seizures, the officials detected diamond smuggling worth Rs 2.25 crore – there was no such case in 2018.
Also, the officials recorded five cases of smuggling of anabolic steroids, cosmetic drugs and health supplements in 2019.
This apart, the officials here have also booked cases of seizure of saffron weighing 65 kg, valued at Rs 1.4 crore, in 2019, as against 33 kg in 2018.
In 2019, the Customs postal appraising department seized 55 consignments of cannabis and other narcotics substances that were brought from abroad.