HYDERABAD: Smuggling gold by concealing in the spaces under the passenger seats in an aircraft is not new. But RGIA officialis say this is the first time foreign nationals were arrested for smuggling gold into Hyderabad. It is suspected that both the passengers, a South Korean national and a Chinese national, were not just transporting gold but had a bigger role in the racket.
Inquiries revealed that the South Korean national was travelling to Hyderabad for the second time and the Chinese man was here for the first time. They boarded a flight at Dubai and landed at Hyderabad.
In the past there were cases of smuggling gold bars by concealing them in hollow spaces under the seats of aircraft that were detected by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). In such cases, gold is smuggled in international flights and the passenger disembarks at Hyderabad.
When the aircraft’s next flight is within India, it is retrieved by their agent who travels in the domestic run. But in Thursday’s case, DRI nabbed the passengers who travelled on the same flight, in which they concealed gold under their seats.
The DRI on Thursday seized 112 gold strips of 24 carat from Air Indian flight AI 952. The gold was found to be of 99.5 percent purity and weighed a total of 14 Kgs. It is valued at around `5.46 crore.