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The Customs officials at the Dabolim airport today detained a man for allegedly trying to smuggle saffron in India from Dubai, a senior official said. The officials claimed to have "nabbed the accused" after he arrived at 4 am from Dubai on an Oman Airways flight and opted for green channel for his customs clearance. A total of 4.50 kg saffron was seized from his possession, they said, adding, the accused originally hails from Karnataka. The goods have been seized under the provisions of Customs Act. Additional Commissioner of Customs G B Santimano told reporters that this is the second case within a week wherein an attempt to smuggle in saffron has been made. He added, the same modus operandi was adopted earlier in the case of a Mumbai based passenger who was apprehended with 10 kgs of saffron. He said the department expects saffron detection to increase over the next few days as the commodity used in making of sweets, gains value during the festive season. Santimano said the department has valued a kilogram of saffron at around Rs 1.50 lakh but it is twice the value in the retail market with a kilogram of saffron costing around Rs 2.50 to 3 lakh depending on its purity and grade.
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