The Mumbai Airport Customs has collected a record Rs 1.41 crore from passengers who tried to evade duties on their goods in the first 15 days of November. The revenue was collected under special drives conducted by the customs authorities just before the Diwali to detect the smuggling of
goods. Customs officials held their first such special drive on the intervening night of October 25 and 26, and during which, officials registered a record 33 cases.
The revenue of Rs 1.41 crore is 147% more than the revenue collected in the first 15 days of October and 150% more than the revenue earned in the first 15 days of August and September.
PM Saleem, commissioner of customs, airport, said, Better vigilance and control on traffic movement helped us achieve this.
Officials said that normally the revenue collected for duty evasion is less after festivals, as people bring expensive items during the festive seasons.
But this time round, we collected higher revenue after the festive season was over. This shows better vigilance. This is good even from the security point of view, a customs official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The official said that goods on which passengers or carriers tried to evade duty included LCD and LED television sets, gold, saffron, memory cards and high definition professional cameras.
He added that a few passengers also tried to evade duty on expensive cancer drugs that are not exempted from duty.
The value of these drugs was shown to be less than its actual cost to avoid paying the actual amount of duty, the official said.
Officials said that the department is more alert as the new year approaches. The smuggling of expensive items is likely to increase during this time.
Items whose prices are constantly spiralling, such as gold and saffron, would continue to be on the hot list of smugglers, the official said.
He added the illegal saffron market trades 50 kg of the fragrant spice daily.