VIJAYAWADA: Officials of the Customs Department arrested five people, and seized gold and silver worth Rs 5.80 crore and Rs 14.16 lakh, respectively while being smuggled from Chennai to Andhra Pradesh. On a tip-off, the officials of the Customs Commissionerate (Preventive) (CPC )at Vijayawada conducted checks at a toll plaza on the national highway and recovered 10.77 kg of gold from three cars.
The officials said this was the first time that gold is such a huge quantity was seized by CPC, Vijayawada since its inception in 2014. The press release issued on Sunday stated that the Customs officials had received information about gold bars being smuggled from Chennai to Guntur and Rajamahendravaram. Following this, special teams intercepted three cars at Bollapalli Toll Plaza on Vijayawada-Chennai NH-16 on June 24.
“Gold was found concealed in a specially built box, installed behind the seat and also in the cavity under the passenger seats,” the release said. During interrogation, the accused admitted to smuggling gold in their vehicles, officials said, adding, “Searches were conducted in Kakinada and Rajamahendravaram, and 24 kg silver bars with foreign markings were seized.”The five arrested persons were sent to judicial remand and a case was registered against them under the Customs Act, 1962.