An Afghan national was intercepted at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at Nedumbassery on Wednesday with foreign currency worth nearly Rs 11 crores.
The currency notes were seized from 33-year-old Afghan national Yousuf Muhammed Siddique, while he was trying to board an Air India flight to Dubai.
Customs officials said that he was intercepted on suspicion and later to their shock they discovered that he was carrying US dollars and Saudi riyals equivalent to Rs 10.86 crores.
"The currency notes were hidden in a water heater and pressure cooker, which were traced by the scanner at the airport," customs officials said at a press meet at CIAL.
According to CIAL, such an advanced scanner has been set up only at the CIAL airport in India.
Yousuf had travelled from Delhi to Kabul 17 times in the last two months. According to his statement, he purchases clothes from Lajpath Nagar and Sarojini Market in Delhi and then transports them to Kabul.
On Tuesday, the Air India plane from Delhi to Dubai en-route Kochi developed a technical snag. The flight didnâ€™t take off from Kochi on Tuesday evening and passengers were offloaded. The passengers were provided accommodation at nearby hotels.
At 4.30 am on Wednesday, Yousuf was caught when his baggage was scanned while he was checking in. â€śWe are interrogating him for further details,â€ť CIAL officials said.
It is intriguing that the currency went undetected at the Delhi airport.
Most of the currency notes were in US dollars. The seizure is believed to be one of the biggest in the country.
In the last three months, CIAL airport has reported a total of 91 seizures that resulted in the recovery of 21.24 kilograms of gold.