Two, including Dubai passenger, arrested for smuggling gold
: Custom officials have busted a gold smuggling racket with the arrest of two persons, including a passenger from Dubai, at the international airport here and recovered 1 kg of gold from them.
The other person arrested is an operator of an aerobridge at the airport. Another aerobridge operator, in possession of 500 gms of gold bar, has managed to flee.
Joint commissioner of Amritsar customs, Balbir Singh Mangat, said, the passenger and one of the operators have been arrested and sent to 14 days judicial custody.
“Efforts are on to apprehend the second operator. Further investigation is going on,” he added.
According to the information, a passenger, who arrived by Air India Express Flight No IX-192 from Dubai at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport here on Saturday was intercepted while exiting from green channel.
“During screening/search of baggage one gold bar weighing 587 grams was found concealed in the shoulder bag of the passenger. This gold bar with an estimated market value of ₹ 31 lakh was seized,” said a spokesperson of Amritsar Customs.
On questioning, the passenger admitted that he was carrying 2 gold bars weighing 1 kg, out of which 1 was handed over to the ground staff who was standing on the aerobridge. On checking the CCTV footage, the operator of the aerobridge was identified, the spokesperson said.
The aerobridge operator at the airport is employed with the company who had the contract for aerobridge operations and was found in possession of one gold bar. He admitted that he had smuggled gold on previous occasions, including last one month, the official said.
He further admitted that he was handing over the said smuggled gold to another staff member who also works as aerobridge operator with the same company, the official said.
A day after the Aam Aadmi Party alleged mismanagement and corruption in toll tax collection by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, state deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday wrote to lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the matter. AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak made similar allegations on Tuesday.
To contain the spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD), 29 teams of veterinary officials have been constituted at sub-division level in Jalandhar for prompt checking and prevention of such cases, if reported, in their respective areas. As per information received from the administration, these teams comprise veterinary officers and inspectors. These teams would immediately visit in case of a report of LSD in their respective areas to diagnose and for administration of preventive vaccination.
The Punjab Pollution Control Board will keep an eye on top 10 districts, known to be chronic violators and reporting the highest number of paddy residue burning incidents during the Kharif season. PPCB chairman Adarsh Pal Vig said as many 10 districts reported the greatest number of stubble burning cases in 2020 and 2021. “Some of these are Sangrur, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala and Ferozepur.”
Cases of crime reported in Delhi till July 15 this year increased by 8.1%, compared to the same period last year, according to statistics shared by the Delhi Police on Wednesday, showing a broad increase across most categories in 2022. In 2021, in fact, a total of 2,485 home burglaries were reported for the entire year. Cases of non-heinous crimes, such as snatching, burglary and vehicle theft, too went up by 8%.
Police have recovered four pistols and their ammunition, believed to be dropped by a drone in the Lopoke area of the district near the India-Pakistan border. A team led by Lopoke police station in-charge Mantej Singh, launched a search operation in the area where the drone was spotted. More than 20 incidents of drone movements and smuggling of weapons and drugs at the Punjab border with Pakistan have been reported in this year.