Exotic animals, gold, heroin top seizures made by Customs in TN 2022
Recovery of narcotic substances also hit the roof in 2022 as the officials retrieved Rs 14.02 crore worth of banned drugs including cocaine, methaqualone, heroin among others
Over 200 kg of gold worth Rs 94 crore, along with foreign currencies and narcotic substances, were some of the major seizures made by the Customs department (Tamil Nadu) in 2022, a senior official has said.
Some of the recoveries had comprised endangered wildlife species including albino porcupine, white lipped tamarin monkeys among others.
The officials have also arrested over 100 people for their alleged involvement in the seizures, Chennai International Airport, Principal Commissioner of Customs M Mathew Jolly said.
Significantly, between January and December 2022, 205 kg of gold worth Rs 94.22 crore was seized in 293 cases of which majority of the smuggled precious metal was from passengers who arrived here from Dubai, Sharjah and some other Gulf locations, he mentioned.
Recovery of narcotic substances also hit the roof in 2022 as the officials retrieved Rs 14.02 crore worth of banned drugs including cocaine, methaqualone, heroin among others.
The department executives have managed to seize foreign currencies valued at Rs 10.97 crore in 81 cases between January-December 2022.
Besides gold, the authorities seized diamond and other precious stones worth Rs 1.20 crore in five different cases. An antique bronze Buddha statue was also confiscated, he said.
Particularly, endangered wildlife species that are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act including albino porcupine, red chested tamarin monkeys, De Brazza monkey, king snakes, ball pythons were detained.
The animals that were allegedly smuggled into India from Thailand were retrieved and sent back to Bangkok.
Apart from the recovery of gold, diamonds and narcotics, the Customs officials have also booked cases into alleged smuggling of miscellaneous products like cigarettes, and electronics worth Rs 3.90 crore.
In total, 407 seizures were made in which cases were filed against 122 people for their alleged involvement in the crime, he said.