The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), tasked with securing airports and Metro stations across the country, has been asked to scan passenger baggage carefully for cash smuggling in the wake of the currency ban.
“We usually don’t look for cash while scanning baggage. We have specifically asked the staff to look for hidden cash. So far, two passengers have been stopped at the Delhi airport with R 15 lakh cash,” said a CISF official.
The move supports the Centre’s decision on Tuesday to scrap all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to weed out black money and fake currency.
While carrying cash is not a crime, the guards have been asked to take down the name, address and identity card details of those carrying “large amounts of cash” to locate them if need be.
The circular sent to CISF staff doesn’t mention a figure. However, guards are likely to record details of passengers carrying more than Rs 50,000.
The CISF staff will not act against passengers carrying cash or stop them from boarding the flight or Metro.
“At airport, CISF scan hand baggage while registered baggage is scanned by the airport developer. Both have been asked to report to the Income Tax department if they notice a passenger is found carrying a large amount of cash,” said a CISF official.
CISF has also deployed intelligence staff at domestic and international terminals to check possible handover of cash between airport employee and passenger.
“In Metro also, our staff does scanning and has been asked to alert if they notice large amounts of cash in a bag,” the official added.
Many Metro travellers carry large amounts of cash and they might have to get their details registered, an official said. He said the force will ensure citizens are not harassed.
The CISF conducted a similar exercise during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, after election commission alerted security agencies.