Indian customs seize 14kg of shark fins

Press Release

Press Information Bureau
Government of India

26. November 2019

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Shark Fins seized by Customs at Chennai Airport

On Monday based on intelligence that some marine products/shark fins are likely to be smuggled to Singapore a special alert and vigil was maintained by Air Intelligence Unit officers at the departure terminal to catch the smuggler.  AIU officers observed that one male passenger was moving in a suspicious manner with a big carton box in departure area. A close watch was kept on his movement and he was intercepted after he had cleared immigration and was proceeding towards security check. From his boarding pass and passport the passenger was identified as one Dharbar Latheef (60 ) from Tiruchirapalli, who was bound for Singapore by Air India Express Flight  IX 688. He was questioned about the contents of his carton box. As he was evasive in his reply he along with his checked in luggage was brought in for detailed examination. On opening the carton box, it was found to contain 14 Kg of suspected marine product similar to shark fins.

The suspected marine product/shark fins was got examined by Wild Life Crime Control Bureau officials  who certified the same as  “processed  Shark fins” and as such there  was  a probability that  these belong to a  CITES listed species. As the export of  shark fins is prohibited by Foreign Trade Policy , shark fins worth Rs. 8 lakhs were seized under Customs Act 1962 read with  FT(D&R) 1992.

Shark fins are used for preparing Shark fin soup a expensive delicacy served in high end restaurants abroad  and is considered by Chinese to be a symbol of prosperity and a conferrer of health benefits. The practice of shark finning is causing the collapse of shark populations around the world.

 Further investigation is under progress, according to the press release issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.

Source: Press Information Bureau, India

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