In three separate cases read over Sunday and Monday, customs officials at Chennai airport seized 5.1 kg of gold worth 2 crores that were hidden by passengers in their personal effects.
Five members have been arrested in connection with these cases, including a person who was waiting outside the arrival lounge to collect the goods.
On Monday, based on information Salim, 40, of Ernakulam(Kerala) who had arrived by AirAsia flight FD 153 from Bangkok was intercepted at the exit on suspicion of carrying gold. He appeared to be walking in a suspicious manner and when questioned he gave evasive replies. On frisking him and his baggage, two gold cut bars which were wrapped with adhesive tape weighing 1 Kg, valued at Rs. 39 lakhs were found concealed in his socks. The bars were recovered and seized under the Customs Act 1962.
On questioning, he informed that the gold was to be handed over to an unknown person outside the airport. He was taken out of the airport and when one person approached him to take delivery, he was apprehended.
A senior customs official told WION, “People who come to collect the goods tend to escape, but this time around we have nabbed him. We have also learnt that the kingpin is based out of Kerala and are working on nabbing him as well. We have seized gold in larger volume as well, but this is higher than the usual recovery which amounts to a few lakhs."
In another case on Monday, based on inputs, a family of three Ashraf Ali, 59, Saira Banu, 50 and their son Mohammed Salih, 23, from Chennai who had arrived by same flight were intercepted at the exit. On personal search, 10 zip lock pouches containing rubbery material were recovered, concealed inside their innerwear. On extraction 2.5 gold valued at Rs. 97 lakhs was recovered and seized under Customs Act 1962 and the parents were arrested.
On Sunday, based on an information one Saidalavi Kunnathodi, 51 of Malappuram (Kerala), who arrived from Abu Dhabi by Etihad Airways Flight EY238 was intercepted at the exit. His checked-in baggage was taken up for examination. A water motor pump was found inside his baggage. On dismantling the pump a cylindrical gold bar weighing 1.64 Kg valued at Rs 64 lakhs was found concealed inside the rotor portion of the motor. The gold was recovered and seized under Customs Act 1962 and the passenger was arrested.
On questioning, he informed that the gold was to be handed over to an unknown person outside the airport. He was taken out of the airport and when one person approached him to take delivery, he was apprehended