In a major operation, a total of nine women from Turkmenistan were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle out of the country foreign currencies worth around Rs 3.83 crore at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, officials said on Monday.
Customs officials said that following the specific inputs, a total of 105 people were intercepted — 59 women and 46 men — when they were travelling to Turkmenistan on Wednesday.
“Personal and baggage search of the 88 passengers and rummaging of flight resulted in the recovery of foreign currency $7,98,840 equivalent to Rs 5.64 crore,” said Manish Kumar, Commissioner of Customs.
“Further, 48 passengers were released along with their foreign currency, as they were carrying foreign currency under permissible limit. Furthermore, remaining foreign currency, that is, Rs 5,41,961, equivalent to Rs 3.83 crore was seized under the relevant provisions of the Customs Act,” said Kumar.
“Out of the remaining 40 passengers, nine of them — all women were placed under arrest. The accused told Customs officials that the money that they were trying to take out of Delhi could be for gold smuggling,” said an official.
“There is a group of foreign nationals who smuggle into the country gold from outside and sell the yellow metal here using their contacts. The money that they get out of it, they try to take it out of India, usually in cash,” a customs official added while explaining the case. Further investigations are under progress, they said.