HYDERABAD: A youngster from Hyderabad in his early 30s, who was allegedly smuggling foreign-marked gold bars into the country, was nabbed by Customs officials at the RGI Airport, here on Sunday.
The passenger, identified as Shaikh Abdul Sajid, had left the gold bars behind the commode of a washroom in the international arrivals hall at RGIA and tried to walk away. But his movements made the airport police suspicious, who had received a tip-off earlier and were conducting checks at the exit gate.
After he was nabbed, further inquiries revealed that an ‘insider’ person was supposed to pick up the packet, which contained 26 gold bars, and move it out of the airport safely.
Sajid initially pleaded innocent but later admitted to smuggling 26 foreign marked gold bars, weighing a total of 2.992 kg and worth Rs 1.11 crore. He also disclosed where the bars were hidden and they were recovered from the washroom that was opposite the immigration area in the international arrivals hall. He further revealed that he carried the gold bars in his hand baggage, and dropped them off at the washroom.
Sajid was a first-time traveller to Sharjah and had gone there in search of a job. While there, he failed to secure a job for himself and decided to return back to India.
However, smuggling operators lured him into carrying gold bars with and even offered him a free ticket for an Indigo airlines flight. He was told to conceal the packet in the washroom at the airport, from where it would be picked up by an ‘insider’.
Officials are yet to ascertain more details about the ‘insider’ at the airport, the foreign operators, or the receivers in the city. The gold was seized and the accused arrested. Further investigation is underway.