A courier package containing gold worth Rs1.44 crore was stolen from the Air India cargo warehouse at the Santacruz domestic airport on Thursday morning, the police said.
The package contained gold that belonged to around 23 businessmen in Mumbai. It was flown from Hyderabad to Mumbai in Air India flight 527 on Thursday. The package contained gold jewellery and gold bars worth Rs1,44,24,000, according to the police.
“The flight left Hyderabad airport at 8.10 am and our investigation revealed that the package was loaded on the aircraft before it took off. So it went missing in Mumbai,” said senior inspector Dilipkumar Taral of the Santacruz airport police station.
When the flight landed at the domestic airport in Santacruz at 9.25 am on Thursday, it’s owner, Sanjay Jain, 36, found that the package was missing. Jain owns a company called Marudhar Express Service Private Limited in Kalbadevi,
Taral said: “Jain waited in the cargo room for three hours between 9.45am and 12.40pm, but could not find the package. After spending a day investigating the matter himself, he informed us of the incident on Friday morning.”
Jain, a resident of Balaram Street in Grant road, had got the parcel couriered from his Hyderabad office to the Mumbai branch of his courier company, the police said.
Their investigation revealed that the parcel was unloaded from the aircraft in Mumbai, placed in the cargo trolley to be brought to the cargo room, and went missing from the Air India cargo room, the police added.
“The cargo room of Air India is easily accessible to all people. The courier delivery persons can easily get a gate pass issued through their identity cards, enter the cargo room without any checks, pick up their parcels, and leave the premises without much suspicion. It is certain that the package went missing from the cargo room,” informed Taral.
The police are questioning airport staff. “It is the responsibility of the airport staff, including the loader and the trolley driver, to ensure that all packages are safely managed. We are interrogating the staff and other courier persons who were present in the cargo room when the incident occurred,” Taral said.
A case was officially registered with the Santacruz airport police on Tuesday morning.