Chennai airport staff booked for smuggling Rs 89 lakh worth gold, gets jail after 7 years

The accused revealed that he had been given the gold by a passenger who landed on an Oman Airways flight and told the authorities that he could identify him.
the accused had given a voluntary confession statement written by himself stating that he was an employee of the airport ground handling service.
the accused had given a voluntary confession statement written by himself stating that he was an employee of the airport ground handling service.(Representative image)

CHENNAI: A ground handling staff at the Chennai international airport was recently convicted by a local court for smuggling in gold worth Rs 89 lakh supposedly handed over by an international passenger.

During investigation, customs authorities found that the accused, AD Karikalan, had come to work at the airport on his off-day. On September 4, 2017, he was nabbed by CISF personnel near an aerobridge and inquiries revealed that his scheduled area of work was near the cargo section of the airport. He was questioned by customs officers who found three 24 carat gold bars, each weighing 1 kg, in his pocket. The accused revealed that he had been given the gold by a passenger who landed on an Oman Airways flight and told the authorities that he could identify him. Customs authorities took the accused outside and waited for the passenger, but nobody turned up.

During the trial, Karikalan’s counsel argued that customs had not produced his badge or identity card to show that he was working for the airport’s contractor company. He also claimed that Karikalan had found unclaimed gold and was planning to hand it over to the security personnel, when he was “caught without evidence”.

However, the trial court judge said that the accused had not denied possession of gold, which “is of relevance to this case over the work identity of the accused not being submitted by the complainant (customs)”.

Also, the accused had given a voluntary confession statement written by himself stating that he was an employee of the airport ground handling service. This evidence is admissible as per the Indian Evidence Act, the court noted, adding that customs had proven the possession of gold with the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

On the accused’s argument that he was taking the bars to security officers, the burden of proof was on him and that he would have to prove it as per the Customs Act, the court said, which he had not done. The court handed him a sentence of simple imprisonment of one year and fine of Rs 15,000. The gold was confiscated by the authorities.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com