The Air intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs on Friday arrested a 45-year-old businessman while he was trying to smuggle two gold bars worth Rs 48 lakh by tying them to his left thigh.
Officials also found $5,500 (Rs3 lakh) on him. AIU officials stopped Rafiq Pillaathottahil, who does odd jobs in Dubai, after he crossed the green channel at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport without declaring the gold and dollars on his arrival from Dubai around 4am.
Pillaathottahil, who only had a handbag, denied that he was carrying anything that needed to be declared. When AIU officials did not find anything in his bag, he was taken to a room and officials conducted a thorough search of his person.
“His left kneecap was wrapped up. Below it, we found two gold bars that together weighed 2kg,” a Customs official said. The foreign currency was found in his pocket.
Pillaathottahil then admitted that he had concealed the gold to avoid paying duty, and that he had kept the money in his pocket to bribe officials with in case he was caught. He wanted to sell the gold, bought cheaply in Dubai at a profit in Kerala, he told officials. He was later released on bail.