Air customs seized 14 lakh worth foreign currencies from a Sri Lankan national who arrived at Chennai airport from Colombo on Sunday.
Heerath Mohottige Sirisena Perera had concealed 98,000 Saudi Riyals and 8,000 UAE Dirhams between folds of newspapers kept in his checked-in baggage, said a customs press release.
Based on a tip-off, customs sleuths were monitoring passengers who had arrived by a Sri Lankan Airlines flight when they found the passenger passing through the green channel. The sleuths asked him whether he was carrying gold, silver, currency or any other valuable items in his baggage. He replied in the negative and tried to walk past.
The customs officials became suspicious and inspected his checked-in baggage. The currencies were seized because the passenger did not declare them and attempted to smuggle them out in violation of the Customs Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act.
As per the Foreign Exchange Management ( Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2000 framed by the Reserve Bank of India, any passenger bringing in foreign currency exceeding US $ 5,000 or its equivalent, should make a declaration in the Customs Declaration Form.