Couple caught with ₹74.8 lakh at airport
Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) was the scene of much drama on Tuesday morning after a couple was caught carrying ₹74.8 lakh in cash and expensive gadgets which they could not account for while clearing security. The wife, upon realising that they were about to be caught, ran to the washroom and attempted to get rid of ₹10 lakh by dumping the notes in a trash can.
According to security officials at KIA, the husband, identified as Mohammed Irfan Ahmed, 35, claimed to be a Customs officer from Chennai. He and his wife Mumtaz had arrived from Chennai and were boarding a flight to Lucknow, said officials. They reached the security check around 9.30 a.m. and stood in separate queues. “When it was his turn, Irfan identified himself as Customs officer, a superintendent, and tried to get his luggage inside bypassing security checks. He claimed that it wasn’t necessary for their bags to be checked,” said a source.
However, CISF security personnel insisted that as per protocol his bag had to be scanned and insisted that they be loaded on the belt. When the bag was scanned and later checked, they found that it was stuffed with wads of currency notes, around ₹37 lakh. Mumtaz, who was standing in the ladies queue, suddenly ran to the washroom with her bag claiming she wasn’t feeling well. However, secure personnel followed her. “She was caught dumping approximately ₹10 lakh in cash in a trashcan,” said an official.
CISF Security personnel recovered the cash, and recalled the couple’s checked-in luggage. When they opened the bags, they found more cash, along with gold jewellery, two expensive wrist watches valued at around ₹2 lakh each, and electronic gadgets including iPhones and an Apple watch.
The couple was taken into custody and questioned by both Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate officials who had been alerted. “The accused officer claims to have been serving in the Customs department since 2009. The couple hails from Chennai and said they were travelling to Lucknow to purchase land, which was why they were carrying cash. However, the source of the cash is yet to be ascertained,” said the source.