Delhi’s IGI Airport customs seizes illegal shipments of medical gear
Customs at the Delhi airport, on Wednesday night, seized multiple shipments containing over 500,000 masks, 950 bottles of sanitiser and 952 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits that were set to be illegally exported to the United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and China.
Senior officers said the consignments were misdeclared as fabrics and plastic raw material, to avoid suspicion. An investigation has revealed that these goods were sourced from traders in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
According to senior customs officials, as per the guidelines of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), these goods are, at present, prohibited for export because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Late Wednesday evening, following a tip-off, we checked an identified consignment scheduled to be sent to China and found 5.08 lakh (508,000) face masks packed in it. The packet had been misdeclared as plastic pouches. Following another tip, when we checked a series of parcels in the courier section of the Delhi airport’s cargo area, we found other parcels that had been declared as fabrics too. When opened, 950 bottles of sanitisers, containing 57 litres in all, and 952 PPE kits were recovered. These were scheduled to depart for the USA, UK and UAE,” said a senior customs official, who wished not to be named.
The officer said further investigation is underway to track the source of these consignments. “Our information suggests that these items were sourced from traders and dealers in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab,” the officer said.