Custom officials foil 4 smuggling attempts at Mumbai, Pune airports over the weekend
Over the weekend, custom officials foiled at least four smuggling bids, involving gold and Iridium powder worth over Rs 80 lakh, at the Mumbai and Pune International Airports.
In the first case, officials recovered gold worth Rs 54 lakh from two passengers during the intervening night of June 9 and June 10.
The passengers, Vijay Jagdish and Mafatlal, were intercepted at Mumbai International Airport after landing from Bangkok-Mumbai Air India flight (AI 331). The men, both hailing from Rajasthan, were identified on the basis of profiling.
When the personal search failed to yield results, the officials checked the plane in which they had arrived. During inspection, nine gold bars weighing 1.8 kg and worth Rs 54 lakh were recovered from a hollow pipe under their seats 33J and 34J.
The duo was subsequently arrested. During questioning, they confessed to smuggling the goods for a Mumbai-resident.
In the second case, officials intercepted a 43-year-old and recovered gold worth Rs 14.75 lakh during the intervening night of June 10 and June 11.
The passenger, Mohamed Sufiyan Nizamdeen, held a Sri Lankan passport and arrived in the city from Colombo via SriLankan Airline flight (UL 141).
Incidentally, Nizamdeen had been caught smuggling last month as well. However, since the amount of smuggled goods was under Rs 1 crore, he was granted bail immediately. At the time, he told cops that he dealt in textiles and travels to India to buy clothes.
On Sunday, Nizamdeen cleared the Green Channel and greeted the officials who had nabbed him last month.
The officials, suspicious of his behaviour, searched the baggage and managed to recover five gold bars weighing 500 gm. The gold, worth Rs 14.75 lakh, was concealed in a cavity made in the sole of his footwear. He has been booked.
In the third case, an Indian Passport holder was caught while trying to smuggle Iridium powder in the city.
The passenger, Nasima Gafur Maniyar, was intercepted after arriving in Mumbai from Hong Kong by Air India flight (AI 315). The passenger was searched on the basis of profiling.
During the search, officials recovered Iridium powder weighing 300 gm, worth Rs 7 lakh, concealed in a packet in her rectum. The powder is used by jewellers for adulterating gold and increasing its weight.
This was the first case of Iridium powder smuggling foiled by officials at Mumbai airport this year.
In the last case, officials intercepted a passenger at Pune International Airport and recovered gold jewellery worth over Rs 13 lakh.
The passenger, Mohammed Ashfaque, arrived in Pune from Dubai via Air India flight (IX 212) on Sunday afternoon. He was searched on the basis of profiling.
During the search, officials recovered 19 gold chains, 28 ear rings and 14 pendants. The jewellers collectively weighed 444 grams and was valued at Rs 13.17 lakhs.
The ornaments were hidden inside the pockets of a jeans, which was stored inside a trolley bag. A case has been registered.