Biryani boxes, bag cavities new cash carriers

The Railway police, too, have detected 26 cases of unexplained cash and 204 of contraband. The biggest challenge for them is to stop the smuggling of liquor, according to an RPF official.
Since the MCC came into force in March, around 32 recoveries of over ~1L in cash have been made from across the country.(HT File File Photo)
Since the MCC came into force in March, around 32 recoveries of over ~1L in cash have been made from across the country.(HT File File Photo)
Updated on May 02, 2019 01:11 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByFaizan Haidar

Security agencies have made seizures like cash hidden in biryani boxes, gold, and liquor bottles concealed in false cavities of bags as they have increased vigil at airports and railway stations to detect any violations of the model code of conduct (MCC) for the ongoing national polls.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is responsible for security at airports across the country, has made 34 recoveries of over one lakh in cash, according to two officials of the paramilitary force. It has reported 14 recoveries of gold or contraband from passengers in over a month, since the MCC came into force in March.

In March, the Election Commission (EC) cautioned people against carrying cash above ~50,000 and articles and gifts worth over ~10,000 without valid documents. It said unexplained cash of above ~50,000 will be seized and released only after it is proven that it has nothing to do with the elections. Such curbs are imposed to ensure cash and other items are not used to influence voters.

The Railway police, too, have detected 26 cases of unexplained cash and 204 of contraband. The biggest challenge for them is to stop the smuggling of liquor, according to an RPF official.

According to the EC, ~731 crore in cash, liquor worth ~236 crore, drugs valued ~1,170 crore and precious metals like gold worth ~940 crore have been detected since MCC. “Passengers, who are unable to give satisfactory reasons for carrying large amounts of cash, are stopped and information is shared with the Income Tax Department. Those carrying cash for genuine reasons are advised to report early since verification takes time. At airports, about ~ 9 crore in cash has been detected so far with Delhi reporting the highest number of cases, 19, followed by Kannur airport, 10, in Kerala,” a CISF official said on condition of anonymity.

The CISF detected $2,00000 worth approximately ~1.37 crore from two women passengers travelling to Imphal on April 24 at the Kolkata airport, according to CISF. An investigation in the matter is underway.

On April 10, the CISF found $60,000 concealed inside six biryani packets, according to CISF PRO Hemendra Singh. Similarly, $30,000 was recovered from another passenger inside three biryani packets, he added. An investigation in the case has been initiated.

“Passengers are using different modus operandi to avoid detections. Most commonly cash is hidden in false cavities of bags. But our staff has been trained in detecting currency through X-ray...,” said another CISF officer said.

About ~1.2 crore in cash has also been recovered, mostly from trains falling under the jurisdiction of the Central and Eastern Railways.

Liquor and contraband worth ~2.7 crore have been recovered mostly under the jurisdiction of Southern and Eastern Railways.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021