The CBI has busted a gang of smugglers at the Trichy Airport in Tamil Nadu, apprehending 19 people, including six customs officials, who were allowing it to operate in return for illegal gratification, officials said today.
In a surprise check operation, which started yesterday, the agency has apprehended Assistant Commissioner, Customs, S M Venkatesulu, superintendents Kalugasalamoorthy and S Ramakrishnan, inspectors S Anees Fathima and Prashant Goutam, and one Freddy Edwars, multi tasking staff in the Customs Department.
Besides, 13 others, including two persons carrying Sri Lankan passports, were also apprehended by the CBI.
The operation was triggered on inputs that Customs officials posted at the Trichy International Airport were indulging in corrupt practices by way of regularly obtaining undue advantage in the form of illegal gratification from smugglers and carriers bringing goods such as cigarette packets, gold, receivers, alcohol bottles etc, which are banned into the country, they said.
The agency has apprehended the accused but is yet to make formal arrests, sources said.
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