In the third such interception since last Sunday, Mumbai officials detained the Senegalese woman, flying in from Dubai, as she was crossing the green channel with the currency she 'forgot to declare'
Fake currency on Sunday, saffron smuggling on Monday, undeclared foreign money on Wednesday: Mumbai Customs can be said to be a very busy department of late.
As if celebrities waltzing in with undeclared jewels weren't enough, customs officials, in another breakthrough, arrested a Senegalese woman with undeclared currency in her possession last evening.
This is the third big expose in the last four days by the Mumbai Customs (see box). Incidentally, in all the three cases, the undeclared or questionable items came from Dubai.
The Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Customs, Sameer Wankhade, intercepted the woman, Dioum Dior (50), who was crossing the green channel with the equivalent of about Rs 50 lakh in euros, way beyond the permissible limit.
After the seizure, the case was handed over to the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Mumbai Customs. "She flew in on an Emirates flight from Dubai and was intercepted minutes after she entered the green channel.
We have recovered 75,000 euros from her, which is undeclared currency. We are investigating the source of the money," said an AIU official.
The accused sought to play the incident down, saying, "I always bring such a big amount but this time I forgot to declare it. The money is for shopping."
But investigation officials were not convinced and said that they would rope in the Enforcement Directorate, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Narcotics department to help out with the investigations.
AIU Additional Commissioner Mahendra Pal confirmed the arrest. "We have intercepted a lady with undeclared foreign currency," he said.
The First Two
Last Sunday around 5 pm, two passengers, who had flown in from Dubai, were intercepted by the AIU while they were crossing the green channel with fake Indian currency to the tune of Rs 19,19,000. Both were Mumbai residents.
They were later booked under different provisions of the Customs Act and were produced in the court. The investigation is on to trace where the fake notes came from.
On Monday at 4 am, three Gujarat-based passengers on two different flights were caught with 22 kg of banned saffron powder worth Rs 22 lakh.
Gani Jospeh and Lalitha Adam Gajan were on their way from Dubai on an Air India flight 987 and landed in the city at 4 am. The third passenger, Subani Mohammed Bacchu, landed at 3.30 am.
All three received their packets from the same person at the Dubai airport.