There were three people caught by the Hyderabad Commissioner’s Task Force (South) selling banned e-cigarettes in Punjagutta, and material worth Rs.15 lakh was seized.
In response to a tip-off, the team caught a resident of Jeedimetla at Punjagutta on Wednesday night as he came to hand over a consignment.
The police said, apparently, the individual stocked the e-cigarettes at his home and was marketing them through Instagram. Recently, customs officials at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here apprehended 14 passengers arriving from Sharjah and Dubai and seized estimated to be worth Rs 50 lakh in cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
The latest incident involved six passengers trying to smuggle cigarettes and e-cigarettes out of Sharjah.
The passengers arrived on Friday via flight 6E1406. A total of 22,600 cigarettes and 940 e-cigarettes worth Rs 11.66 lakhs were seized, a customs official said.
According to Hyderabad Customs, “the goods have been confiscated and further investigation is underway.”
Attempts to smuggle cigarettes and e-cigarettes have been apprehended three times in a week by Customs officials.
Three passengers were apprehended and contraband was seized by customs officials on July 27. In addition, they had also arrived via flight 6E1406 from Sharjah.
Approximately Rs 14 lakh was smuggled by the three passengers in 40,800 cigarettes and 1010 e-cigarettes.
An airport incident last month resulted in the arrest of six passengers. Flight EK526 and flight 6E1406 had brought them from Dubai and Sharjah, respectively.
An estimated Rs 25 lakhs worth of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes were confiscated. The intercepted suspects include traders from Hyderabad, Kerala, and Maharashtra, as well as members of gangs operating from Kerala and Maharashtra. Because of the domestic sale of the smuggled e-cigarettes, the profits of the offenders have quadrupled.
After obtaining permission from the relevant authorities, customs destroys the confiscated cigarettes and imposes a fine equal to the value of the confiscated goods.
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