Vigilant airport authorities got hold of a major haul of Saffron that arrived in the early hours of the day in the Shamshabad airport, in Hyderabad. A passenger from Sharjah has been detained by the customs department. The passenger who arrived here in the morning flight is supposed to have concealed the consignment in his baggage. But for the hawkish eyes of the sleuths, the expensive consignment would have been smuggled, unnoticed. Authorities are questioning the passenger about the consignment. Initial estimates revealed that the haul would be worth approximately Rs. Nine Lakhs by airport sources.
Saffron is highly priced because of its scarce availability. The herb has to be completely de-hydrated to be used. Hence even small portions are expensive. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus, from central Asia. Saffron has been a key seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine for over three millennia. Iran has accounted for around 90–93% of recent annual world production and thereby dominates the export market on a by-quantity basis. Saffron has shown promise as a new and alternative treatment for a variety of cancers. (With inputs from internet: AarKay)