Two persons have been arrested by the officials of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs department from the international airport in Mumbai with alleged possession of illegal gold bars valued at Rs 2.32 crore.
Speaking about the case, an AIU official said, during the day duty of AIU on Saturday, specific intelligence had been received that two passengers on a domestic flight from Kozhikode to Mumbai will be carrying smuggled gold. An AIU team with four officers immediately rushed to Terminal-1 to intercept the passengers and rummage the aircraft.
The passengers were identified only as Vijender alias Satyam and Navneet alias Sumeet, both residents of Rohtak in Haryana. The said passengers were interdicted and on detailed interrogation both passengers handed over four smuggled U shaped 24 Karat gold bars totaling five kilograms valued at Rs 2.32 crore, AIU sources said.
"The gold bars were cleverly concealed in fabric belts which were further placed and fixed around the pipes beneath the passenger's seats in Abu Dhabi during the aircraft’s Abu Dhabi - Cochin leg and the same aircraft got converted into a domestic route Cochin-Mumbai, and then Mumbai-Kozhikode. Further When the same aircraft was coming from Kozhikode to Mumbai, the passengers retrieved the gold after boarding from Kozhikode," said an AIU official.
He added that, both the passengers were offered Rs 20,000 each for smuggling the gold. "During the interrogation it was revealed that both the passengers were travelling on forged identity (Aadhar Cards). We are now probing who was the supplier of the gold bars and to whom the said bars were meant to be sold and where. We would also be probing from where the duo had managed to get forged identity documents. This appears to be a well organised racket, It is also being probed if the duo had done similar smuggling in the past," the official said.