The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested 19 people, including six customs officials, in connection with an organised smuggling racket. The arrests were made at Trichy International Airport in Tamil Nadu on Monday.
The Madurai unit of the CBI said that the smugglers were running the organised racket in connivance with customs officials. They used to smuggle gold, alcohol and cigarettes without paying any custom duty on the products.
Several officers were bribed as part of the racket. Officials said that aides of smugglers used to be stationed at arrival gate, incoming passengers took money from them and paid it to custom officials.
A case in this regard has been filed under Sections 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. The suspected offences mentioned in the FIR, a copy of which has been accessed by Zee Media, include criminal conspiracy, public servant taking undue advantage and bribing public servant.
As per the FIR, the goods were smuggled from countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, among others. The nexus was exposed in a joint surprise check at the Trichy Airport.
“It has been learnt from a reliable source that the customs officers posted in Trichy International Airport are indulging in corrupt practices by the way of regularly obtaining undue advantage in form of illegal gratification from smugglers/carriers bringing trade goods from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other countries for allowing them to smuggle trade goods without paying customs duty,” says the FIR.