Officials from the revenue intelligence department detained a 51-year-old man at Mangaluru international airport on Thursday morning for illegal possession of foreign currencies. The man identified as Mohammed Farooque Armar is a resident of Bhatkal and was arrested while trying to board a flight to Dubai. Foreign currency worth Rs 25 lakh was found among Armar's possessions.
Following a tip off, officials from the revenue intelligence intercepted Farooque as he waited to board a flight to Dubai after completing check-in and immigration formalities.
Thorough examination of his bags revealed bundles of foreign currency notes that were concealed inside biscuit and confectionery packets. The currencies included US dollars, British pounds, Euros, UAE dinars, Saudi Riyals and Qatari riyals. The total value of the currencies are pegged at Rs 25.07 lakh. The currencies were seized under RBI guidelines and Customs act with FEMA regulations.
Further investigations revealed that the arrested person has smuggled items to and from the Gulf earlier. Farooque is said to have confessed to have acted as carrier of smuggled goods including phones. Officials have also learnt that he purchased the foreign currency from illegal operators in Bhatkal. The officials are now trying to unearth the illegal currency racket and hawala channels in Bhatkal.