In a major crackdown on gold smuggling via the international airport here, sleuths from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who conducted a surprise inspection from the late hours on Tuesday, secured at least 130 passengers arriving from various destinations for reportedly smuggling the yellow metal amounting to over 30kg.
On examination, the passengers were found to be carrying a total quantity of over 30kg of unaccounted gold in various forms, including jewellery, crude bits and paste mostly in their baggages and by concealment in the body. “Apart from the gold, several of the passengers were found to be carrying cigarettes, electronic goods, including iPhones and drones, and other trade goods in commercial quantity and everything was seized,” said DRI in an official release.
Meanwhile, the passengers who were secured expressed innocence in the smuggling activity. They told the officials that they were handed the yellow metal upon departure to their destination and that they were asked to then hand it over to the “traders” who would wait outside the airport and collect it from them for a small remuneration. Based on the information, officials also instructed a search outside the terminal and secured around 15 “merchants” who were waiting and held investigations.
Also, the officials, suspecting as many as 12 passengers of smuggling gold by concealing it in their body parts especially the rectum, took the suspects to the hospital for “retrieval” of the gold.
The investigations continued till late night on Wednesday in accordance with the Customs Act, 1962.