Mumbai: In a major haul, the Mumbai customs intercepted two passengers and seized 3382.97 carrot diamonds worth Rs 4.28 crore on Saturday at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA). According to the customs, the agency seized high quality diamonds and 495 grams gross of gold dust totally valued at Rs 20. 57 lakh. This is one of the biggest seizures in the recent times.
The diamonds were valued by a valuer which revealed its purity and cost. Sources said that the two passengers have been arrested and investigations are on to ascertain if they were carriers. This was the first major seizure after resuming air operations at the airport since the lockdown.
Carriers are lured by offering easy money and are sent to foreign destinations. The Air Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai customs is questioning the accused. They are investigating about the source of the diamonds and where it was destined to.
"The investigations are on if the consignment is part of any illegal activity,” a source said.
In March last year, the Mumbai customs had intercepted a passenger who had arrived at the international airport in Mumbai from Hong Kong. His search had resulted in seizure of 25 pouches containing diamonds worth over Rs 3.65 crore. The accused was placed under arrest for evading customs duty. The accused was caught when officials found suspicion concealment in his bag while it was being screened in the machine.
On October 3, customs officials seized 21 kgs of gold and diamonds worth Rs 9.4 crore based on information at Hyderabad. The precious metal was allegedly transported without documents
The officials searched the domestic inbound section of Air Cargo complex to verify foreign marked gold being sent to Jaipur and Mumbai.