Our Stories of Valor


Born on 2nd July 1922 at Mangrul, Paragaon in Maharashtra, Shri Bapu Laxman Lamkhede joined the Indian Customs in 1944 as a Sepoy and was promoted as Jamadar in the year 1975. During his tenure at Mumbai Docks in Dock Intelligence Unit, he proved himself as a terror among the Mumbai Underworld Smugglers and contributed in seizures of Contraband valued at Rs. 26 Lakhs during 1960s. The courage and devotion to duty displayed by him even at the risk of his own life rightly earned Shri Bapu Laxman Lamkhede two presidential awards for his gallantry and excellence in service in the years of 1964 and 1979 (posthumous). He left us for his heavenly abode on 4th Dec 1978 at the age of 56.

He will be remembered for his extra ordinary courage and devotion to duty. He was rightly described as the Kohinoor of Indian Customs.


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Mumbai Cusotms Jamadar Bapu Laxman Chowk

SHRI DAYA SHANKAR,IRS. (1952 - 2012)

Shri Daya Shankar, a 1978 Batch IRS Officer was a man of exceptional integrity became a legend during his own lifetime, an officer who even the underworld dreaded as well as admired.

While he was posted as Assistant Commissioner at Mumbai Airport, his fear made regular smugglers change their smuggling routes away from Mumbai. He acted feralessly in the interest of nation and never bothered to cross swords with even the high and mighty. He had arrested many smugglers including Bakia and Jogi Nani & Lallu Jogi from Daman.

Despite being eleigible, he did not accept any incentive/monetary reward offered to him by the Govt. of India for his incredible work thorughout his life.

After taking voluntary retirement, he taught international bussiness and bussiness strategy at the Deakin University, Australia. He also gave lectures at the Indian Institute of Technology & the Indian Industry on “TRIPS Agreement”. Shri Daya Shankar left for his heavenly Abode on the 12th August of 2012 causing an irreparable loss to the Department.

SHRI L. D. ARORA,IRS (1954 – 1993)

Shri L.D. Arora, IRS (1977 Batch) was posted as Additional commissioner of Customs (Preventive) in R&I wings of Mumbai Custom. During his posting at Mumbai Customs (1986 to 1992) he had contributed in record seizure of gold, silver, narcotics and foreign currency cases worth more than Rs.250 Crores . The era of his tenure in Mumbai was actually the golden era of Mumbai Customs. He had been a great motivator and hence, could make a team of dedicated officers who successfully developed and worked out information related to smuggling syndicate in and around Mumbai.

He was martyred in the service of the Department and the Nation in 1993 while he was trying to bring the perpetrators of 1993 Mumbai bomb blast to justice.


MR. COSTAO FERNANDES September,1979 to August,2014

Mr. Costao Fernandes is one of the souvenirs of this Department who is remembered for his passion for the service, in which he encountered many criminals and smugglers and prevented many attempts of smuggling by putting his own life at risk. He joined Goa Customs as a Preventive Officer in year 1979.

He made many high profile cases in smuggling and built up a strong information network at a time when no sophisticated communication system was available. He always put service and his colleagues above self. During one of his operations, when he noticed that one of his colleagues had slipped off the vessel in the high seas, he jumped off the vessel and brought him to safety.