CHENNAI: The air intelligence unit of customs on Wednesday seized 23 kg of peacock tail feathers from a Singapore-bound passenger at Chennai airport. The officials, during routine profiling, found the movements of M Sethuraman of Washermenpet, going by a Jet Airways flight, suspicious. He was intercepted while passing through the customs facilitation counter after the immigration check.
When customs officials grilled him, he said he was carrying nothing but used clothes and personal effects. The officials, however, weren’t convinced and asked him to open his baggage. They found 12,800 peacock tail feathers, weighing around 23 kg.
As the export of peacock tail feathers is banned, they were confiscated and handed over to the wildlife department.
“First, wildlife officials have to test and see whether they are original or not. They will also see whether the feathers had fallen naturally or were plucked from a live bird or a bird that was killed,” R Periasami, commissioner of air customs said.
He said his department was also co-ordinating with the wildlife department for further investigation.