In an unusual case, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Mumbai customs intercepted a passenger and a receiver on Saturday night smuggling 2.2kg gold worth Rs61 lakh in a portable car washing machine. According to the AIU, they intercepted Ahamed Thameez from Kasaragod district in Kerala on suspicion, after which his checked-in baggage was subjected to a thorough search. “The passenger had ingeniously concealed the said solid crude gold, cylindrical in shape, in the specially made hollow cylindrical iron shaft. It was covered from both the ends, which formed the central part of the motor of the portable car washing machine,” said Pradnyasheel Jumle, deputy commissioner of customs, AIU.
The authorities got suspicious after Thameez was found carrying two iPhones worth Rs1.20 lakh, following which they decided to check his luggage. The AIU had to use an electric cutter to remove the concealed gold. Throughout this time, Thameez was constantly getting calls from his handler in Dubai, and the receiver who was waiting for him at the international airport. A trap was laid by the AIU, and they caught the receiver, Irshad MP, from Kozhikode district in Kerala.
Investigations revealed that Irshad was put up in a south Mumbai hotel since the past fortnight. Following his detention, the AIU searched his hotel room. They suspect that the accused were involved in previous instances of smuggling as well and are investigating the case. Both the accused have been arrested, while the pfficials are trying to nab the main suspects.
AIU sources stated that smugglers are adopting new methods to dodge the authorities. They continue to hire new persons as carriers and receivers by promising them commission.