Customs Department seized defunct currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1000 denomination worth ₹10 lakh from a Kannur native while attempting to smuggle the notes through Nedumbassery airport. Abdul Salam, a Kannur native, was taken into custody with the money when he arrived airport at 9 am Thursday. 
 

This is the first time that Indian currency is smuggled from abroad after Centre announced demonetisation on November 8, customs commissioner K N Raghavan said. 
 

Customs doubts that the notes are unaccounted money stashed abroad. Salem is only a carrier who smuggled the consignment for ₹20, 000. He had left for Dubai on November 20 from Kozhikode airport. The notes were concealed in packets of soap powder, tissue paper and toilet napkins. 
 

"The ₹1000 denomination notes were worth ₹7 lakh and ₹500 denomination currencies worth ₹3 lakh. The money was recovered from his baggage after air intelligence officers intercepted Salam," Raghavan said. 
 

Salam is a frequent visitor to Gulf countries. On questioning, he revealed that he was asked to hand over the baggage to an another person who was waiting outside the airport. 
 

Foreign exchange agencies in GCC countries are still accepting defunct currency at a reduced exchange rate. The notes are later brought to India and exchanged with the new currency, a customs official said. 
 

A case has been registered against the arrested.