DRI expands probe into gold seizure from international flight at Kochi airport

The enforcement agencies also found that the members of the racket were using new faces as couriers for each assignment.

Published: 29th October 2022 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2022 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

gold, gold smuggling, gold bar

Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has expanded probe into the seizure of over five kg of gold from an international flight at Kochi airport as a Malappuram-based gold smuggling racket having links with staff of the airline is suspected to be behind the smuggling.

As per official sources, the racket has an extensive network across all major airports in the country for carrying out smuggling activities through international flights which operate as domestic flights after reaching an international airport in the country from abroad.

“It’s suspected that the airline staff were acting in collusion with the racket. Only an extensive probe will unearth the nexus,” said an officer. As per the findings of the Customs, which has already been on the alert about the rackets using international flights that run domestic service after reaching India, the racket has been simultaneously operating from different airports in the country.

“There is an input that the racket is only using international flights of Air India that run domestic service after reaching the country from Middle East sector. We are verifying inputs and correlating the details of similar cases reported elsewhere in the country,” said a senior Customs officer. The enforcement agencies also found that the members of the racket were using new faces as couriers for each assignment. “They provide special training to the couriers on how to hide the gold under the seat, how to retrieve them, pack them, and take them out of the airport without being caught,” the officials said.

Meanwhile, the DRI will seek custody of the five persons who were caught in connection with the seizure of over five kg of gold in compound form kept concealed in the Air India flight that landed in Kochi from Dubai on Wednesday night.  The accused were nabbed before the flight was scheduled to leave for Delhi.



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