Officials recovered 18 gold bars from a flight that arrived from Dubai
Gold bars seized by AIU officials
Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officials found gold bars worth Rs 54.68 lakh on an Air India flight that arrived from Dubai on Friday. Although no arrests have been made so far, cops suspect a notorious gang of smugglers may be involved.
According to police sources, there were 18 gold bars weighing 10 tolas each. "The AIU officials searched the Air India flight AI 984, and found around 2,098 grams of gold. It was cleverly stuffed into women's stockings and concealed in a hollow pipe beneath a passenger's seat. We suspect involvement of a professional gang as not many know that the window side of the pipes are usually open," a senior official said.
Cops suspect that the gang may be using passengers and airport staff's help. "We suspect the gold was concealed in the pipes by an airport official and it was supposed to have been taken further by a passenger, who would then pass it on to another airport staff member to smuggle out of the airport premises. No passenger has claimed the gold yet," an AIU official said. AIU has registered a case against unknown people under the Customs Act and are investigating.
Amount of gold seized
In a separate incident, an Indian passenger, Vimlesh Panchal, was detained at the airport on Friday night for trying to smuggle in gold from Bangkok. Panchal was found carrying gold jewellery – chains, bracelets – weighing 350 grams and worth R8.84 lakh. He was detained after he attempted to evade Customs by passing through the Green Channel, meant for passengers who have nothing to declare.