GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Office of the Chief Commissioner of Customs, Chennai Zone
Custom House, 60, Rajaji Salai, Chennai – 600001
OPERATION BLUE EAGLE BY CHENNAI CUSTOMS
Customs cracks smuggling gangs’ intrusion in conducting
free and fair Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Elections
The Chief Commissioner of Customs, Chennai had formed various teams such as Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams to check and seize unaccounted money, illicit foreign liquor, drugs/narcotics, freebies, smuggled goods and other illicit articles which are likely to be used to lure the voters during the currency of election.
- Special Operation Blue Eagle by Customs: The Chief Commissioner of Customs had conducted on 3rd March, 2021, a strategic “Operation Blue Eagle” for simultaneous checking of movement of smuggled goods, unaccounted money through 15 Special teams consisting of more than 50 Customs officers, in order to ensure free and fair election and to keep vigil of any unwarranted storage and distribution of consumables and freebies at any of the Customs area.
- Smuggling gangs: The “Operation Blue Eagle” was aimed at detection of possible attempt by miscreants who may use smuggled/ contraband goods, gold, silver, currency during the election thereby vitiating the level playing field and hampering the conduct of a free, fair and credible election. The operations started on 03/04/2021 checking at port terminal gates, all Container Freight Stations, Air Cargo Complex and at a number of places from where imported goods are cleared, stored in warehouse, godowns spread over entire Chennai City including Royapuram, Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Mylapore, Meenambakkam.
- Unaccounted Cash of Rs.50 lakhs: During the Operation Blue Eagle, Customs officers detected unaccounted money of Rs.50 lakhs in new currency note bundles for likely distribution to lure the voters, as these notes can very easily be inserted in any pamphlet, newspaper for last stage distribution for influencing of voting public.
- Smuggled Silver – 36 Kg. recovered by Customs:
Customs officers were also checking up for any smuggling gangs attempting any concealment of gold, silver that may be used for distribution to lure voters. During the search operations at Mylapore they found 36 Kg. of Silver valued at Rs.25 lakhs was concealed in a premises of the smuggling gang. The said gang members were trading smuggled silver illegally.
- Undeclared goods at Container Freight Stations (CFS): Another team of 30 Customs officers undertook checking operations at many CFS in and around the seaports, CFSs situated at Manali, Thiruvottiyur, Royapuram. All imported goods were properly Checked and no unaccounted consumer goods were found.
- Further investigation: The entire quantity of smuggled silver, unaccounted currency, totally valued at Rs.75 lakhs was handed over to Income Tax Authorities for their further investigation.
03rd April, 2021. Principal Commissioner of Customs
Chennai Customs Zone