Customs officials use seized drones to track smugglers

Representative image

Now scores of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones, which were seized by customs authorities from various ports across the country, will be used for surveillance purposes by various enforcement and security agencies.

Last month, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) issued a directive to customs commissioners saying that the drones would be supplied to the Customs and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on a priority basis and the remaining ones would be distributed to various ministries under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Defence.

State Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said drones would be useful in coastal surveillance especially since smuggling through waters are reportedly on rise.

He also said steps were being initiated to examine the drones seized from Keralato prepare the requirements for customs units in the state.

"Since we are already short of manpower, the drones would be of much use for stepping up surveillance, especially to examine any suspicious activities in the sea," he said.

CBIC sources said over 100 seized drones are lying idle. Since drones pose a potential security threat, it can't be sold in the open market.

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