The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs arrested a passenger on Friday at the domestic airport and seized gold worth Rs1.99 crore and Rs7.5 lakh.
According to AIU officials, Navratan Golechha was arrested with 7.378kg gold, in the form of gold bars with foreign markings, pieces of crude gold, gold coins and assorted jewellery. He was also carrying 350 new notes of Rs2,000 and 500 notes of Rs100.
“An unclaimed trolley bag was left behind in the flight that arrived from Raipur by a passenger upon spotting the AIU staff,” said a high-ranking officer.
The flier, however, returned and inquired with the airline staff about his bag following which he was handed over to the AIU. Authorities are now investigating the source of the gold and the cash.
Another officer said, “He said he got the money after exchanging demonetised notes by paying a premium. However, we seized the cash, as we belive that it is his cut following sale of smuggled goods.”
Golechha was produced in a court and was remanded in judicial custody for a fortnight. His bail application will be heard on Monday. An AIU officer said they will oppose his bail plea and request for his custody for further investigation.
Probe is on to check whether the accused is involved in similar crimes or not or if he a part of a cartel . Post-demonetisation, Customs officials have now increased vigilance and are keeping tab on new methods adopted by the bootleggers and smuggling.