BENGALURU: In the first major seizures made in the New Year, the Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs department at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has seized 504.96 gm of gold, smuggled from Gulf countries, from three passengers in the last 24 hours. The gold, valued at over Rs 26 lakh, was concealed inside iron boxes, chargers and belts.
On Tuesday evening, two passengers on a flight from Dubai smuggled 180 gm of gold valued at Rs 9.5 lakh. “They colluded with each other, but appeared to keep a distance from each other during travel,” said a top Customs official. The duo arrived at KIA by a ‘FlyDubai’ flight (FZ 4007) at 3.30 pm. Giving details, the officer said that when the bags, chargers and belts of the duo were passed through the baggage scanner, very dark dots were seen on the baggage scanner.
“An examination of their passports revealed that the duo were natives of Chennai and had travelled recently to Dubai. Frequent travel gives cause for suspicion. They appeared uncomfortable and gave vague answers when asked details about their trips,” he said. “The chargers belts and bag chains had tiny, square, thick gold pieces hidden in them,” the official added.
In another case that came to light late around 11.30 pm on Monday, crude gold weighing 322.84 gm and valued at Rs 17.1 lakh, was smuggled on a Kuwait Airlines flight (KU 1353) inside an iron box brought in the check-in baggage. The 32-year-old male passenger hailed from Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh.
In a minor seizure on January 2, gold was again recovered from the same FlyDubai flight a passenger’s trouser. “Gold paste, weighing 98 gm, was hidden in the hem of the waist area and was valued at Rs 5 lakh,” the official added.