Shark fins and Foreign currencies seized, one held

Chennai: The Chennai international airport’s customs officials prevented the smuggling of shark fins and foreign currencies to Singapore on Monday morning.

Mohamed Saleem, 54, was found to be moving in a suspicious manner with a big carton box in the departure area of the international terminal as he was waiting to board Scoot Airlines for Singapore.

The officials then stopped him and questioned about the contents of his carton box. As he was misleading in his reply he along with his checked in luggage was brought in for detailed examination.

When officials opened the carton box, they found two white HDPE gunny bags. The gunny bags were opened and they were found to have suspected wildlife products similar to shark fins.

Moreover, two brown colour paper bags were found hidden inside the shark fins. On the opening of the paper bags, different foreign currencies 6000 US$, 27600 EURO, 1000 Norway Kroner, 3400 Canadian Dollar, 2450 Sterling Pound, 14000 Qatar Rial worth Rs 33 lakhs were found.

The Wild Life Crime Control Bureau authorities examined the seized suspected shark fins and they certified that they were shark fins and as they appeared to be processed. There was a probability that these belong to a CITES-listed species.

Under the Customs Act, 1962, all the items were seized and the passenger was arrested. Further investigation is under progress.