The amount valued at over Rs 260 crore is the highest ever seized at any airport in the country in a year
It’s been a bad year for gold smugglers and a phenomenal one for those meant to keep them in check. Mumbai Customs has seized one tonne of gold so far this year valued at over Rs 260 crore earning the distinction of being responsible for the highest-ever gold seizure at any airport in India.
The gold seized on Saturday is valued at over Rs 60 lakh. Representation pic
The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) helped the department touch the 1,000-kg figure with the seizure of 2.4 kg of the precious metal on Saturday. Indigo staff aboard flight 6E-82 from Muscat noticed the gold concealed in the life jacket under seat 15A, after the aircraft landed in Mumbai around 2.30 am on Saturday. The airline staff notified the AIU and the gold, worth more than Rs 60 lakh, was seized.
Second in three days
This is the second case of unclaimed gold seizure from an aircraft in three days. mid-day had reported about 5 kg gold being seized by the AIU from an overhead luggage compartment on an Air India flight on Dec 10. The five bars, weighing 1 kg each, were collectively valued at more than Rs 1.21 crore.
“Unclaimed seizures are made when any airport employee is meant to collect the smuggled gold from a particular spot, but fails to do so due to vigilant checking and frisking by the CISF and Customs. Hence, Customs officials recover the gold before the staffer arrives, or when the smuggler finds the colluding person to be unavailable.
Unclaimed seizures from aircraft are rare,” said a Customs officer. He added that, in the past, such seizures have been made from aerobridge dustbins, luggage trolleys and even under baggage belts.