Based on a tip-off that gold was likely to be smuggled by a passenger from Dubai, surveillance was maintained by AIU officers in the transit area. One airport janitor was noticed going inside the toilet and he was followed by the Customs officers and caught while he was retrieving two black bundles from a dustbin. On opening the bundles, three gold paste packets weighing 2 kg were recovered. On extraction, 1.81 kg of gold valued at Rs 93.2 lakh was recovered and seized under the Customs Act. Further, the Customs intercepted a passenger, Sheikh Usman (35) of Tiruchy, at the exit.
The janitor was identified as Gnanasekar (31), an employee of a private firm providing housekeeping services at the airport. On questioning, he informed that his colleague Shankar told him to collect the bundles from the transit toilet on orders from their supervisor Kumar. Meanwhile, the passenger received a call from someone outside the airport who had come to receive him. He was taken out and the receiver was apprehended when he approached him. The Customs identified him as Syed Ibrahim Shah (21), of Chennai.
Later, the Customs arrested Kumar, who was not at the airport during the time. Kumar is the mastermind of the smuggling racket. All five have been arrested and further inquiry is on.
In another case, an Etihad Airways flight which arrived from Abu Dhabi was rummaged by the Customs and three bundles were recovered from the toilets in the aircraft. On opening them, four gold bars of 1 kg each with foreign markings and three rectangular gold plates weighing 5.1 kg, valued at Rs 2.63 crore were recovered and seized as unclaimed. Further investigation is on.