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Biggest haul in 5 years: Man held with 24 gold bars

A flyer from Dubai was detained at the airport on Wednesday for smuggling 15 gold bars in an emergency light, and nine more in a torch's battery section

No matter how hard gold smugglers try to sneak the yellow metal into the country, they fail to get past the customs officials. On Wednesday, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the customs department seized 24 gold bars from Poochakkad Abdul Azeez, who had arrived by an Air India flight (AI 984) from Dubai at around 4.30 am.

Flyer from Dubai detained at Mumbai airport
The bullion weighs 2.8 kg and is worth Rs 68.4 lakh. It was seized by the customs officials from Poochakkad Abdul Azeez, who arrived in the city from Dubai on Wednesday

The seized gold biscuits, weighing 2.8 kg. are estimated to be worth Rs 68,41,972. Azeez tried to outsmart the authorities by hiding 15 gold bars in an emergency light and nine in the battery section of a torch light. The seizure by the customs was the highest for gold smugglers in the last five years, said officials. On Monday, MiD DAY had reported how the customs recovered undeclared gold worth Rs 76 lakh from five unrelated flyers over the last weekend (‘Undeclared gold worth Rs 76 lakh seized at airport’, January 6).

Earlier, on December 29, MiD DAY had also reported how gold smugglers kept the AIU officials busy when five people were caught carrying undeclared gold in the most unusual spots (‘Midnight gold rush at Mumbai airport’). The total worth of the seized metal was estimated at Rs 65 lakh. However, officials made no arrest since none possessed gold worth more than Rs 1 crore. In keeping with this rule, Azeez, too, was let off on bail.

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