Mumbai: A spate of smuggling cases was reported at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in which four passengers were intercepted by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) in separate cases.
The customs intercepted one passenger arriving from Dubai on Tuesday. “The examination of his baggage resulted in recovery of 1,165 grams of gold bars having value ₹52 lakh concealed in portable emergency rechargeable light,” the unit stated.
In another case, two passengers from Dubai on Wednesday were intercepted which resulted in the recovery of gold dust in wax with gross weight of 1,890 grams and provisionally valued at Rs 78 lakh.
In a similar case, one passenger arrived from Dubai was intercepted on suspicion. During her interception, the unit recovered wet gold dust having gross weight 655 grams valued at ₹26 lakh.
AIU has increased vigil at the city airport, as smugglers are trying to sneak in the precious yellow metal while taking advantage of the pandemic and Diwali rush. The unit is also keeping a close watch on flyers arriving in the city from Dubai from where the maximum cases have been reported.
Recently, gold dust worth ₹29 lakh was found underneath a seat of an aircraft at the CSMIA. According to AIU, the gold dust was hidden in a hollow pipe beneath a seat, but was traced only after the aircraft landed in the city from Dubai. The customs rummaged through the aircraft upon its arrival when they recovered the unclaimed gold. AIU is investigating about the passengers and who was to retrieve the hidden gold.
Sources stated that some passengers deliberately avoid paying customs duty while bringing gold from abroad as payment of the duty will offset the cost advantage as gold is cheaper in some other countries. The agency has been taking actions for possession, carriage, concealment, recovery and smuggling gold into India without payment of proper customs duty and in contravention of the provisions of The Customs Act.