Within 24 hours, Customs officials at the Sahar Airport have cracked down on two smuggling rackets
While officials are celebrating the busts, inside sources are worried that the mafia sitting in Dubai has resurfaced and is active owing to the upcoming festive season.
On Sunday two passengers were caught with fake Indian currency to the tune of Rs. 19 lakh. Both passengers were booked under the Customs Act, and the authorities are trying to trace the source of the fake currency.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Commissioner of Customs Sameer Wankhede intercepted three passengers on two different flights, carrying 20 kg of banned saffron powder amounting to Rs. 22 lakh. According to a senior investigation official from the Customs, the mafia has changed the way they are operating.
"Earlier, they used people hailing from the southern borders to carry banned substances, but now they are opting for poor fisher folk from the western belt working in Dubai." Corroborating his claims, he added, "The three passengers that were held belonged to the fishing community hailing from Jamsalaia of Jamnagar in Gujarat.
During our investigations, it was revealed that the three were booked in two different flights, but the same ticketing agency was used.
Additionally, the three received their parcel from the same man outside Dubai airport."
Sources said that the passengers held for carrying the saffron powder had done the job for just Rs. 500. When asked about the reason why the mafia has chosen this time of the year to resurface, authorities said, "We suspect the international mafia has a hand in this issue.
They are eyeing Ganesh Chaturthi and Eid which are around the corner, as they know that money and drugs will be easily consumed during the season."
"We have intercepted two cases. One is related to fake Indian currency of about Rs. 20 lakh, in 500 denominations.
Two people have been arrested in the case and were produced at court on Tuesday. Another case is related to a consignment of 20 kg of saffron powder recovered from three passengers. We are still investigating the case. In both the cases the passengers were coming from Dubai," said Additional Commissioner of Customs, Mahendrapal.