THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ongoing crackdown against the gold smuggling racket in the state seems to be have little effect as the customs department on Monday night seized 1.5 kg gold from a passenger, who had arrived from the UAE. The air intelligence wing of the Customs department seized the yellow metal from a Kottayam native, who had arrived from Sharjah on an Air India Express flight. The sources said the gold was hidden beneath the passenger’s seat. Sources said the compound weighed 1.9 kg out of which 1.5 kg was found to be gold.
The market value of the confiscated booty came to the tune of Rs 76 lakh. The operation was carried out by the officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the air intelligence wing of the Customs. The sources said the opening of more flight services and intense scrutiny in other airports could prompt the smuggling racket to target Thiruvananthapuram airport. The security mechanism of the airport was beefed up following the seizure of more than 30kg of gold from a diplomatic bag last year.