Hyderabad, Jul 25 : Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials of Hyderabad Zonal Unit on Thursday said that they have seized 13 tons of restricted/prohibited baggage, valued at Rs 52.24 lakh in two cases in Air cargo complex at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad near here.
Based on a specific intelligence report, the DRI officials intercepted five consignments of unaccompanied baggage of African Nationals originating from Lagos, Nigeria at Air Cargo Complex here on Friday last. The goods were declared as credible food stuff and personal effects weighing 10 tons and worth Rs 1.3 lakh, but the DRI officials found variety of items including noodles, cosmetics, dried fish, meat, beverages including alcohol which are not allowed to be imported in baggage as per Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 and Customs Act, 1962, the DRI said in a release here.
The consignments were also found to be grossly undervalued and valued at Rs 41.24 lakh were seized under the Customs Act. In a statement, the claimants revealed that they have grossly undervalued the goods to evade customs duty and also using the unaccompanied baggage route to avoid regulatory permissions like FSSAI.
The Claimants would sell the commercial goods so smuggled in the local markets at various metros across India. It is observed that the African nationals have come to India on either tourist or medical visa and are found to be engaged in smuggling of unregulated food stuff into India.
In some cases, the financier would book the consignment on any other African person coming to India and claim the baggage to avoid suspicion. It was found that many times , the passengers on whose name the consignments were booked never visited Hyderabad.
In a similar case, two consignments of commercial edible good weighing more than 3 tons with the similar modus operandi were also intercepted on Monday last. The consignments valued at Rs 11 lakh were seized under the provisions of Customs Act, 1962 .
In total, seven consignments weighing around 13 tons of restricted and prohibited items valued at Rs 52.24 lakh were seized, the release said.