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Foreign-brand cigarettes worth Rs 1.48 lakh seized

Customs personnel seized foreign-brand cigarettes worth Rs 1.48 lakh brought to the country without paying duty at the Coimbatore International Airport on Sunday. This is the third seizure of smuggled cigarettes from international passengers at the airport here over the last five days.

Foreign-brand cigarettes worth Rs 1.48 lakh seized
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The cigarettes that were seized at the Coimbatore International Airport

Coimbatore

On Wednesday, officials had seized cigarettes worth Rs 38 lakh from seven passengers who had flown in from Singapore, followed by cigarettes worth Rs 10.4 lakh from two passengers from the same country on Friday night. On Sunday, customs personnel seized 18,000 cigarette sticks from a man from Kerala who had flown in from Sharjah. 

A senior customs official said that Najeeb from Kerala had wrapped the cigarette cartons in a shawl and reached Coimbatore by Air Arabia around 4.10 a.m. on Sunday. A penalty of Rs. 2.14 lakh was imposed on him, while a duty and penalty of Rs 12,000 was collected from him, before he was released on bail. 

Customs personnel said that they fixed the price of a cigarette at Rs 8 apiece. “But its price is much higher in the market, because of which smugglers are risking bringing it here,” he added.

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