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Rs 45 lakh in foreign currency seized from meatballs, peanuts at Delhi airport

New Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has seized Rs 45 lakh worth of foreign currency hidden in cooked meat pieces, peanuts and sealed biscuit packets from a passenger at the Delhi airport, officials said on Wednesday.

Five hundred and eight crisp currency notes were recovered from the eatables.

The unique modus operandi of currency smuggling came to light on Tuesday evening when security personnel intercepted Murad Ali, 25, on the basis of his “suspicious” behaviour when he reached Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport to board an Air India flight to Dubai.

“On physical checking of the passenger’s baggage, a high volume of foreign currency was found concealed in cooked mutton pieces, peanuts, biscuit packets and other eatables,” CISF spokesperson Assistant Inspector General Hemendra Singh said. “This is a unique and peculiar way of concealing foreign currency for smuggling,” Singh said.

A video of the interception provided by the force showed the security personnel cracking peanuts, unzipping sealed biscuit packets and digging into oily meat pieces to extract an assortment of Saudi Riyal, Qatari Riyal, Kuwaiti Dinar, Omani Riyal and Euro rolled and wrapped neatly inside. The estimated worth of this seized cache is Rs 45 lakh and the passenger, who had a tourist visa for Dubai, and the currency have been handed over to Customs authorities, the CISF spokesperson said.

Ali, a resident of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh, told CISF officials that he worked as a casual labourer and was carrying the food items in his bag on the directions of someone. The man is suspected to be a courier for smuggling out currency as he had made multiple visits to Dubai and other foreign locations in the past, they said.

In case of the peanuts, it was found that the shells were perfectly brought together with the help of some adhesive after they were emptied of their ingredients and currency notes were stuffed in neatly.

The CISF is the national civil aviation security force which provides anti-terror protection to the Delhi airport.

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