Customs authorities seize foreign currency of worth Rs 25.5m

ISLAMABAD: Customs authorities have seized foreign currency of worth Rs 25.5 million at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad.

On 28-07-2013, Customs officials at Benazir Bhutto International Airport seized 920,000 UAE Dirhams from a Dubai bound passenger. According to details, a senior Customs officer received information that on 28-07-2013 an attempt would be made to smuggle huge amount of foreign currency from BBI Airport to Dubai.

The Customs officials at BBI Airport kept a strict vigil over all Dubai bound passengers. At about 2.30am when most of the passengers departing for Dubai via flight No. EK 615 had been boarded the plane, hand carried bag of a passenger namely Kashif was found suspected of containing currency at scanning machine of Airport Security Force. The Customs staff present there examined the bag which led to the recovery of 600,000 UAE Dirhams.

The examination of laptop bag of the passenger also led to the recovery of 320,000 UAE Dirhams. The passenger was immediately taken into custody. Later on the entire recovered currency 920,000 UAE Dirhams which is equivalent to PKR 25.50 million was seized by Customs officials for violation of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 and the Customs Act, 1969.

The passenger was placed under arrest after lodging FIR. Initial investigation revealed that the entire foreign currency was in the form of UAE’s highest denomination bank note i.e. 1000 UAE Dirham note. The passenger revealed that he exchanged Pakistani currency into foreign currency from various currency dealers of Rawalpindi; however, he could not produce a single receipt issued by an authorised currency dealer.

It is pertinent to mention that according to Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 an international outbound passenger cannot take with him more than US$ 10,000 or equivalent foreign currency.