BENGALURU: The Air Intelligence Unit of Airport Customs has seized 3.31 kg of gold valued at over Rs 2 crore from 15 international passengers who arrived at KIA from different cities over a five-day period.
The gold was largely concealed in the clothes worn by the flyers, said Customs sources. It was being smuggled in crude form from Kuala Lumpur, Jeddah, Sharjah and Bangkok to Bengaluru. The passengers caught included 10 women, a source said.
The maximum seizure on a single day was made on Thursday (December 28) when 1.9kg of gold was seized from four male passengers, two of whom were arriving from Bangkok by Thai Airways International.
“The two passengers from Bangkok, both Navi Mumbai natives, reached KIA by flight TG 325 by 11.30pm. Each had concealed a crude gold chain, valued at 734gm. One passenger had concealed it in his handkerchief while the other had kept it inside his pocket.”
Another flyer caught on the same day was a native of Coimbatore. He had arrived by Batik Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur (OD-241) and had concealed three crude gold chains, totally weighing 200gm, inside his undergarments. The final passenger nabbed that day came from Sharjah by Air Arabia flight G9-946. Venkateswaralu Katuru from Andhra Pradesh tried to bring in two gold bars totally weighing 233 gm inside a secret pocket in his jeans, the source said.
On December 26, ten women flyers, all from Shivamogga, accompanied by a male passenger, arrived after their Hajj pilgrimage. They were booked for concealing crude gold chains under their burqas, the source said. “A travel agent Irshad Ahmad Khan had handed over 10 crude chains, one to each woman passenger at Jeddah airport. The total value was 1.16 kg. They came by a Saudia flight (SV 866) to KIA.”
Another flyer was caught on December 24 for concealing two packets containing gold in paste form, stitched inside his pair of socks. “The 248.27gm of gold has a total value of Rs 15.88 lakh,” the source added.