Published On: Wed, Oct 28th, 2020

Shark fins being smuggled to Dubai seized at Chennai airport

Chennai: Customs officials at the Chennai International Airport on Wednesday seized 23.5 kg of shark fins from two passengers bound for Dubai, an official statement said.

The export of shark fins is also prohibited as per the Foreign Trade Policy

The total of shark fin haul is valued at about Rs 16.5 lakh.

This is the first case of wildlife seizure amid Covid-19. The last shark fin seizure was made in December 2019.

In a statement, the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport said that a special alert was maintained by officials on a tip-off that some wildlife/marine products were likely to be smuggled to Dubai.

The Customs officials noticed that two passengers, identified as Sathackkathullah and Abbas, carrying a carton each, were moving in a suspicious manner each in the departure area.

They were intercepted after they had cleared immigration and were proceeding towards security check.

As the two passengers were evasive about the contents of the cartons, they and their checked-in baggage were brought in for examination, the Customs said, adding that on opening the boxes, three white gunny bags were found.

They were opened and 9.5 kg of suspected wild life product similar to shark fin was recovered from one gunny bag and 14 kg from the two others.

The suspected shark fins were got examined by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau officials who certified they were “processed shark fins” and there was a probability that these belonged to a convention on international trade in endangered species of flora and fauna (CITES) listed species.

The export of shark fins is also prohibited as per the Foreign Trade Policy.

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