Mumbai: Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officers have seized 10.6 kgs of gold worth Rs. 3 crore from three international smugglers in six hours at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.
“Total 10.6 kg smuggled gold worth Rs. 2.9 crore has been seized from three smugglers. It is one of the biggest haul in the last one year,” a senior officer from AIU, Customs told the Free Press Journal.
Two of the smugglers are foreign nationals – Domoslawski Pawel (Polish national arrested with 7 kg gold) and Manoucher Safaei (Iranian national held with 2kg gold), whereas the third is an Indian national Pappu Singh who was arrested with 1.6 kg gold. Both the foreign nationals are frequent fliers whereas Singh travelled to India from Riyadh after a sound gap of 18-month.
The officer said the smugglers purposely chose the night time to land as the influx of international passengers are very high. “Pawel was intercepted at CSIA after he arrived from Singapore by Singapore Airlines flight number SQ 424 on November 12. During his personal search, we recovered seven gold bars each weighing 1000 grams. We have also recovered 5000 Euros from his possession. The gold bars were concealed in a green coloured cloth waist belt having pockets which was wrapped around his waist. The total value of seized gold bars is 1.87 crore. He has been arrested,” said the officer.
Iranian national Safaei, who arrived at Mumbai’s international airport from Dubai by Emirates Airlines on November 13, was held with two gold bars worth Rs. 53.22 lakh from his possession. He had concealed the gold bars in green coloured adhesive cellophane tape which he was holding his right hand.
The interception of Singh on November 13 resulted in the recovery of 1665 grams gold wire which was wrapped with white cellophane tape concealed between the roll of copper wire spindle. The total cost of gold wire was Rs. 44.53 lakh. The statements of trio have been recorded and they have admitted to the possession, carriage and recovery of the gold. They have been booked under relevant provisions of Customs Act, 1962.