In a major crackdown on gold smuggling, 31.75 kg of gold worth Rs. 8.43 crore was seized from 10 passengers who arrived at the Madurai airport by two international flights, including a Mihin Lanka Flight, India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said, according to NDTV news.
DRI Chennai zone officials along with the Tuticorin and Madurai units seized the gold that were smuggled in the two flights, DRI said in a release.
Of the 10 passengers subjected to detailed examination, three were arrested under the Customs Act 1962 “for offences committed in smuggling of gold”, it said, adding, the others are being questioned.
The passenger manifesto of Mihin Lanka Flight, carrying passengers from Sri Lanka, Singapore and Bangkok, and the SpiceJet flight from Dubai, which arrived at the Madurai airport, was “thoroughly scrutinised”, it said.
During surveillance of these passengers, DRI officials found that some of them brought common clothes, cell phone, cigarettes and alcohol. “However, they concealed gold in the baggage so that it does not get detected by the customs,” the release said.
“On thorough examination of the baggage, it was found that gold was concealed in various forms including crude gold chains and rings,” it said.
DRI officials seized one kg of gold bars, 100 gram of gold biscuits besides gold bars covered in chocolate wrappers.
“The total quantity of such gold smuggled by this modus operandi amounted to 31.75 kg and (its) value is about Rs. 8.43 crore,” it said.
The goods were seized under the violation of Provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 and Baggage Rules, 1998. (Colombo Gazette)