Real estate agent held for trying to smuggle gold and iridium powder worth ₹1.7 crore in Mumbai
Mumbai city news: The consignment was labelled ‘machine parts and crankshaft’ and suspect the accused was involved in similar offences in the past.mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2017 09:34 IST
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested a real estate agent and seized gold bars and powder suspected to be iridium worth Rs1.7 crore from AirCargo Complex in Mumbai on Saturday.
Officials suspect the accused was involved in similar offences in the past.
DRI officials were acting on a tip-off when they intercepted a consignment that was dropped at the cargo complex by a flight from Hongkong via Colombo.
The consignment was labelled ‘machine parts and crankshaft’, officials said.
DRI officials found three cylindrical pistons containing 5kg gold bars worth Rs1.39 crore. They also found 1.5kg of a dark metallic powder, which they suspect to be iridium worth Rs30 lakh.
After the consignment was seized, the officials arrested Bala Murugan Pillai, a real estate agent. He was waiting outside the cargo complex to receive the consignment.
“The modus operandi was simple. Some person with access to the air cargo complex security area would identify the package and remove the gold/iridium from it and hand it over to Pillai in exchange of money,” said DRI officials.
During interrogation, Pillai admitted to DRI officials that he had cleared several consignments in the past.
He was arrested and remanded in custody. Officials are investigating further to ascertain if there were others involved.