Customs seizes ciggies worth Rs 1.5 cr

Reuters file photo for representation.

Customs officials have seized foreign-made cigarettes worth Rs 1.5 crore being transported from Howrah to Bengaluru in two trains.

The seizures were made based on intelligence gathered by customs officials, following which they had kept vigil to check the goods arriving on the trains originating from Howrah. On June 8, the officers verified the cargo unloaded from Yeshvantapur Duronto Express at Yeswantpur railway station and identified 15 suspicious parcels. On verification, they found that the parcels contained foreign-made cigarettes of different brands, as against the contents declared as “cotton clothes”.

After the seizure, customs officials rushed to Kranthivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station where another cargo of five suspicious parcels was intercepted. While 58 cartons containing 5.8 lakh cigarettes of various brands were seized from the first train, 15 cartons containing 1.5 lakh cigarettes were seized from the second train.

According to a release by M Ramana Reddy, Additional Commissioner, City Customs Commissionerate, the foreign-made cigarettes were contraband items and were prohibited from selling in the country as there were no pictorial health warnings on them.

“It is suspected that these goods were smuggled to India. The intelligence unit is keeping a close watch on all contraband goods being shipped through the train and other modes of transport coming into Karnataka. Further investigation is under progress,” the release added.

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