After the Centre demonetised old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) is keeping a close eye on people trying to bring back their black money from abroad into the country and convert it into white.
In a bid to eliminate this, the AIU has been scanning fliers to check if any excess money is being brought in to the country from abroad. “After demonisation, those who hoarded Indian currency overseas in form of cash may try to bring it back to the country and try to find ways to turn it into white money,” said a high-ranking AIU officer.
Since the announcement about scrapping old high denomination notes, many foreign exchange centres outside India have stopped accepting the notes. This has limited the options for people abroad to covert their black money into white.
Last week, the AIU seized undeclared 225 notes of Rs 1,000 denomination from a flier. As per the norms, importing Indian currency is prohibited. However, in case of Indian citizens and residents, who are returning from a visit abroad, import of Indian currency up to Rs25,000 is allowed. “There are many Indians abroad who may try to bring in undeclared money to the country,” said the officer.
Apart from this, the AIU is also checking if any fake Indian currency stashed abroad is being brought to the country. Passengers flying from places such as Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore are under surveillance to check if unaccounted money is being smuggled in.
Officials stated that after-effects of demonetisation are bringing in new trends in money-laundering and smuggling activities. On Thursday, a passenger travelling to Canada with gold bars worth Rs65.76 lakh was intercepted by customs officials after a tip-off that the gold was bought using money that is unaccounted for.
Past case: The AIU had intercepted a 34-year old man on Thursday night, before he could board a flight to Toronto via Dubai. He was found carrying a 1kg gold bar and 15 gold bars weighing 100 grams each. An initial probe found the person bought the gold at Rs 95 lakh, with money he got from a land deal.