Senior Mumbai airport official held for smuggling gold

Mumbai: A senior official of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) here was nabbed early Friday while trying to smuggle in 14 gold bars worth nearly Rs.4 million, officials said.

The arrest of K.J. Babu, a Terminal 1 manager at CSIA, followed a joint operation by the airport customs and CISF sleuths, leading to the recovery of 1,600 gm of gold.

He is presently being grilled by the authorities.

Babu used to leave the deserted T1 and travel by an airport shuttle bus to Terminal 2, pick up the parcel and exit unchecked via the domestic terminal.

On Friday, he picked up an illegal gold consignment from a passenger, Shahbaz Khan, who arrived from Sharjah by an Air Arabia flight.

Babu was to deliver it to an accomplice, Mohsin Shaikh, waiting for him outside the domestic terminal. The latter was also nabbed.

Working with CSIA for eight years, Babu was described by airport officials as a non-controversial and non-interfering employee.

This is said to be the 12th incident of its kind involving airport employees working at various levels at the airport.

Officials said that despite all security checks and precautions, some miscreants managed to indulge in such activities detrimental to the CSIA's reputation.

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