Flyer tries to smuggle gold worth ₹27 lakh, held at Mumbai airport

Smugglers have now begun to smuggle gold in dust form, as gold dust is difficult to trace by using hand-held detectors and scanners.

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2018 11:14 IST
Neha Tripathi
Neha Tripathi
Hindustan Times
mumbai,airplane,airports
The gold and the passenger was handed over to the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of airport customs for legal action.s(Representational photo)

A passenger travelling from Riyadh to Kozhikode in Kerala was arrested at the Mumbai airport’s T2 on Monday for trying to smuggle 960 grams of gold worth Rs27.33 lakh. The accused, Shajeer K, had concealed the gold in his trouser belt.

Around 7.50am, when the passenger was being frisked during pre-embarkation , the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official on duty, Prashant Kumar, noticed an unusual padding in the passenger’s belt. He was asked to take off the belt.

On checking his waist belt, we found a yellow colour material that appeared to be gold powder blended with highly concentrated gel, wrapped in a plastic sheet,” said a CISF official.

Shajeer had arrived from Riyadh at 6.55am via the Jet Airways flight 9W 523, and was to fly from Mumbai at 8.40 am via the Jet Konnect flight S2 421.

Airport customs were informed about the substance and they confirmed the presence of gold.

The passenger was handed over to the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of airport customs for legal action. The AIU has also been given possession of the gold to be further investigated.

“Initially, the presence of gold could not be ascertained and it was suspected to be a drug. However, AIU confirmed the presence of gold powder in the gel,” said an official.

K N Tripathy, deputy inspector general, CISF, Mumbai airport, said, “Friskers are equipped with hand held metal detectors to detect metallic parts in the body. Due to presence of belt buckle around the waist, there is a possibility of overlooking other metal item. Our security personnel used the detector but also conducted a pat down search.”

Smugglers have now begun to smuggle gold in dust form, as gold dust is difficult to trace by using hand-held detectors and scanners.

There have been at least ten cases of gold dust smuggling at Mumbai airport in the recent past, said AIU officials.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 11:14 IST