Hyderabad: Customs officials at the Shamshabad International Airport arrested three persons arriving from Singapore early on Friday morning with 18 kg of gold.
Top Customs officials said that profiling of the passengers, who were frequent flyers, led to the biggest haul of gold so far, worth Rs 5.4 crore. Officials also seized around Rs 2.7 lakh worth foreign currency from the accused.
The three passengers, holding Singapore passports, hid gold bars in their trousers and shoes. Officials said that one of accused had been on their radar for frequent travelling and for his suspicious behaviour.
Next: Smugglers visited Kochi, Bangalore
Smugglers visited Kochi, Bangalore
Hyderabad: Examination of the passports of the gold smugglers caught at Shamshabad airport revealed that they had travelled to several cities like Kochi, Kolkata, Chennai and also to Bangladesh. Customs officials suspect them to be carriers working on behalf of smuggling gangs.
Hyderabad Zone Chief Commissioner of Customs B.B. Prasad said, “At around 12.40 am, three passengers arriving from Singapore on Tiger Airlines were intercepted by the Air Intelligence unit. The officers searched the passengers and their handbags and check-in bags.
During the search it was found that each passenger was carrying gold bars weighing 6 kg by concealing them in their trouser pockets and shoes; 18 kg of gold valued at Rs 5.4 crore was seized,” he said, adding, “This seizure shows that our officers are alert at the airport.”
During interrogation, the passengers admitted their offence and revealed that they had tried to smuggle the gold to avoid paying Customs duty. The three were identified as Chokkalingam Muruganandam, Haji Azaduddin and Zainuddin, all aged around 40 years. They were arrested under the Customs Act and produced before a magistrate.
The smuggling was detected by Air Intelligence officers of C Batch led by assistant commissioner of customs A. Dhileeban at the airport. Additional commissioner of customs R. Manohar said, “The biggest seizure by Hyderabad customs before this was 3.5 kg of gold. Now this is the biggest.”