Indore: 1.23 kg gold smuggled from Dubai seized at city airport

One person arrested; the gold bars were hidden below the seat; the passenger booked the exact same seat to fly to New Delhi

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 11:03 PM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The Customs Department’s Airport Wing got a major success in foiling an attempt at smuggling 1.233 kg of gold from Dubai into the country. Customs officers made the seizure of the gold smuggled from Dubai by Air India’s Dubai-Indore flight at Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport on Saturday night. One person was held. The smuggled gold was hidden beneath the seat and the smuggler had booked the same seat to fly back to New Delhi on the same aircraft.

Air India’s AI-904 Dubai-Indore flight arrived from Dubai to the city airport at 7.35 pm as an international flight. At 9.00 pm, the aircraft goes back to New Delhi as a domestic flight. Sources in the Customs Department said here on Monday that a passenger, Deepchand Saini, from Jhunjunu district of Rajasthan, travelling from Dubai was detained following suspicious behaviour in the Customs area.

The second suspicion was because the passenger had booked for flying to New Delhi the same seat beneath which he had hidden 1.233 kg gold bars, to avoid bringing the gold bars outside the aircraft to avoid the Customs checkpoint. When the aircraft would land in New Delhi as a domestic flight, there would be no Customs checking. Customs officers, as a matter of routine, thoroughly check the aircraft of an international flight after all passengers disembark as a security protocol. The same protocol was followed for this flight and the gold hidden below the seat of the passenger, who was detained in the Customs area, was found.

Sources said that, in order to avoid investigations at the city airport and to extract the hidden gold in Delhi, Deepchand had booked the same seat as the one from Dubai to Indore for the onward flight to Delhi. He knew that there would be checking in the city upon arrival from abroad, but there would be no checking upon landing in Delhi since it would be converted into a domestic flight. So, he thought, when he alighted again from Indore, he would take out the gold from under the seat and keep it in his bag and easily avoid Customs detection in Delhi.

Nonetheless, following the seizure of the gold, Deepchand was detained by Customs officers who seized the gold and arrested him for questioning. Later, he was granted bail.

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