Akshaya Tritiya rains gold at Mumbai Airport: Gold worth over 60 lakh seized in separate incidents

On Akshaya Tritiya, officials seize gold worth over 60 lakh in separate incidents at Mumbai Airport
In the first case, 10 gold bars were recovered from the toilet of Air India aircraft (Screengrabs from the video, Courtesy: Binu Varghese)

On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on Wednesday, officials seized gold worth around Rs 62 lakh in two separate incidents at the Mumbai Airport.

In the first incident, Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs found 10 unclaimed gold bars inside the toilet of an Air India aircraft. The gold was found during a search operation conducted on the basis of specific intelligence.

The gold bars, of 10 tolas each and 999 percent purity, were valued at Rs 33.2 lakh.

The bars carried ‘MWG UAE’ markings and were retrieved by the Special Rummaging Unit from Air India flight AI 946, which had arrived from Abu Dhabi.

The gold bars were concealed below the tissue paper casing near the mirror mounted on the right-hand side toilet located at the rear end of the aircraft. They were wrapped in multiple layers of black and white adhesive tapes.

According to officials, smugglers would have likely recovered the gold from the aircraft while it was flying on a domestic route, where there is less checking, or with the help of airline staff.

The consignment was seized under the provision of the Customs Act, 1962, but did not result in any arrests. The seizure came less than a week after the AIU team recovered gold worth Rs 1.32 crore from seat 8A of the Air India aircraft.

In the second incident, gold worth Rs 28.72 lakh was recovered during the personal search of two foreign nationals.

AIU officials seized the gold from Sudanese nationals Dafalla Hamadelneil and Raga Elmamsour, who had arrived on an Air Arabia flight from Cairo via Sharjah.

The men had kept the gold, weighing 1.09 kg collectively, in the front pocket of their jeans. They were later arrested.

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