KOCHI: Three women from Sudan were intercepted by the Air Intelligence Unit of Customs for smuggling gold at Cochin International Airport Ltd, Nedumbassery, on Tuesday. The women who arrived in Air India Express from Dubai were carrying 2.6 kg of gold.
According to Customs officers, the arrest of the women would be recorded later on Tuesday. Two of the women had six gold biscuits each, while one woman was carrying five gold bars. It was hidden inside the rectum. They were also carrying gold ornaments. The total value of the gold smuggled by the trio is Rs 84 lakh. “These women are frequent travellers to India and we are verifying their travel details,” said a Customs officer.
The seizure was made following the directives of Customs commissioner Sumit Kumar. “The Sudan nationals had visited Mumbai on several occasions. They arrived in India posing as textile merchants. However, we have to identify the kingpin of the racket,” said an officer.
The Customs Department has increased surveillance at various airports in Kerala and a number of gold smuggling attempts were busted this year, and 87 kg of gold was seized in Ernakulam in the 2017-2018 financial year.