BENGALURU: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Bengaluru has arrested the alleged kingpin of a gold smuggling ring in Karnataka. On February 7, the DRI arrested Shihabudheen Thadathil (45), who was involved in large-scale smuggling of the precious yellow metal in 2018, when he landed at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru from Dubai. He is a resident of Koduvally, Kozhikode district in Kerala.
According to official sources Shihabudheen had smuggled 200kg of gold through 117 passengers between July and September 2018 through KIA with the alleged collusion of some customs officers and others. The Directorate had issued a look out circular to nab him in 2018 soon after they unearthed the smuggling racket.
“Shihabudheen had devised a new modus operandi of smuggling gold by mixing it with chemicals to turn into a paste to prevent detection by the metal door frame detectors at the airports. This paste was further concealed in a nylon belt, which was strapped to the body of the carrier passengers,” the an official told The New Indian Express.
“Shihabudheen used to work in a mobile phone shop in Kozhikode before he got a job as a salesman in a hypermarket in Dubai. It was around this time that he made contact with smugglers and bought a mobile phone shop there. His network with smugglers at Calicut and Bengaluru airports by then had become big enough to facilitate gold smuggling from Dubai to India.
He now has businesses in Dubai, Kozhikode and Bengaluru. He invests in gold and smuggles it in huge quantities, which he sells to select jewellers in the city who are in his network,” official sources told The New Indian Express. Shihabudheen’s arrest is a major breakthrough in gold smuggling cases which are registered by the DRI.
Man held for carrying cough syrup bottles with narcotic substance
An Andhra-based flyer, who was heading to Kuwait with two cartons containing 200 cough syrup bottles having a narcotic substance in them, was detained by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on Wednesday afternoon. He is now in the custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). According to an airport source, Bharath Thupakula, a resident of Kadappa in Andhra Pradesh was to board a Kuwait Airways flight around 1.15 pm.
His luggage included two bulky carton boxes with the bottles. The size of the boxes gave rise to suspicion and CISF personnel diverted him to the random screening point for detailed examination of his baggage. “We found many 100 ml bottles of the cough syrup Phensedyl-T. The syrup contains codeine phosphate, a narco substance. On further questioning, the passenger could not produce any prescription for carrying such a large quantity of the syrup,” an airport source said.