KOCHI: Sleuths from two different agencies seized a total of 7.2kg of gold worth `2.83 crore from three passengers, including a woman, who arrived at the Kochi airport at Nedumbassery here on Wednesday.
In the morning, Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Kochi Customs seized 5.2kg of gold being smuggled by two passengers hailing from Andra Pradesh. The Kadapa natives arrived at Kochi from Kuwait. Acting on a tip-off, the sleuths intercepted the duo and seized the gold which was concealed in two dumbbells.
In the other incident, sleuths from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 2kg of gold from a woman passenger at the airport. The woman, a Mumbai native, reached Kochi from Sharjah. “We are examining the background of the passengers to ascertain whether they are smugglers. A detailed investigation is on,” said a Customs officer. Customs officials said a passenger was also caught trying to smuggle 770gm of gold compound at Karipur airport in Kozhikode on Tuesday.
Despite several seizures, attempts to smuggle gold through airports are continuing. What’s more, the miscreants are coming up with innovative ways to transport the yellow metal from Gulf countries into the state. Recently, two youths, hailing from Malappuram and Kozhikode, were apprehended with 2kg of gold which they had concealed inside a rechargeable speaker and a fan at Kochi airport.
In October, Customs AIU sleuths caught a youth with 1.13kg of gold paste hidden inside his wig. Noushad, who arrived from Sharjah, had shaved off a portion of his hair to make space for the paste and put on a wig to hide it. In June, a Chalissery native who arrived from Bahrain was caught with 750gm of gold. The metal was hidden inside a mixer grinder. Earlier, two passengers from Malappuram and Aluva, who arrived from Dubai, were intercepted and gold ornaments and gold in paste form were seized from them.