The sleuths at the airport received intelligence input that foreign currency was being smuggled by passengers heading abroad from Chennai. On suspicion, they intercepted Sathakathullah (37) of Tiruchy, at the departure terminal before he got in the Air Arabia flight to Dubai.
When they conducted a thorough search, the officials found 15,000 Saudi riyals cleverly concealed in the inner fitting of his handbag. Besides this, there were found bundles wrapped with black adhesive tape inside the bag. When they cut it open, the Customs officials found 26,000 Saudi riyals and 2,400 US dollars.
The currency, valued at Rs 10.06 lakh, was seized under Customs Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act (Export and Import of Currency) regulation, 2015.
In another case, the officials checked Mohamed Ali Akbar (61) of Tiruchy, Mohammed Abdullah (37) of Theni, Abu Javith (29) of Chennai and Shajakhan (57) of Sivaganga, who were about to board a flight to Dubai after clearing immigration and proceeding toards security hold area.
The sleuths found 34,700 Saudi riyals and 1,140 Kuwait dinars from their pant pockets, and 1,26,000 Saudi riyals, 2,300 US dollars, 440 Kuwait dinars and 1,050 Oman royals from the hollow pipes of their stroller bags.
A press release from the Customs Commissioner said foreign currency worth Rs 41.22 lakh was seized from them under Customs Act and FEMA Regulations. Totally, the agency seized foreign currency worth Rs 51.28 lakh from these five passengers, the statement said, adding that further investigation was in progress.