With an increasing number of cell phone users in India, smuggling of memory cards has also increased in recent past.
The Customs Department at Indira Gandhi International Airport is keeping a special watch on passengers coming from Hong Kong.
Since April, the Customs Department has seized memory cards worth Rs2 crore and has arrested five persons who were coming from Hong Kong.
“They sell it here like hot cakes. We have been able to catch five people so far and they have confessed that there is a huge demand for memory cards in markets such as Gaffar Market,” a customs official said.
“In most cases, the carrier manages to sneak out as memory cards can be concealed easily. We arrested a passenger on November 1 with memory cards worth Rs1 crore. During interrogation, he revealed that he had travelled to Hong Kong 14 times since March this year,” the officer further said.In five separate cases this year, the customs authorities seized nearly 1.25 lakh pieces of memory cards worth Rs2 crore.
“Every passenger earns Rs20-25 lakh per trip if he succeeds in smuggling. We have prepared a list of frequent travellers visiting Hong Kong,” the officer said.
To unearth the whole racket, the customs department is in touch with their counterparts in Hong Kong.
“In Delhi, the racket is flourishing with the help of airport staff. Earlier this year, we caught a businessman who was in touch with an airline officer who used to help him exit from the staff arrival gate,” the officer said.