Chennai: Had the smugglers pulled it off, it would have made for a great heist story among their brethren. But that was not to be as officials of the Air Intelligence Unit busted the smuggling attempts and recovered 1.4 kg gold worth Rs 43.25 lakh in Chennai airport on Sunday.
In one of the cases detected on Saturday evening, customs officials rummaged an Indigo flight from Singapore, based on specific inputs. A red colour pouch was found in the life jacket under Seat 27E, airport sources said.
Customs officials immediately alerted their counterparts near the exit gate and intercepted the passenger who was seated in 27E. The passenger, Askar Ali (32), when questioned by officials if he had kept a pouch under his seat, claimed innocence. Eight gold bars worth Rs 24 lakh, each weighing 100 grams, were recovered from the pouch.
On further interrogation, Askar Ali said that a person in Singapore airport gave the pouch to him and he did as instructed and he had no idea whom the package was intended for. He was arrested.
Meanwhile, early Sunday morning, customs seized about 288 grams of gold worth Rs 8.6 lakh concealed inside a ‘Happydent’ chewing gum packet and left unclaimed behind the armrest of a window seat in another Indigo Airlines flight. The flight had arrived from Dubai to Chennai with sector connections from Dubai to Hyderabad and then to Vizag and Delhi before reaching Chennai. Efforts are on to identify the passenger who left the gold.
Similarly, about 353 grams of gold worth Rs 10.6 lakh was seized from, K. Sudhakar (25) who had arrived from Singapore in a Scoot airlines flight. He had concealed the gold plate by wrapping it in a silver foil and stitching it inside his trolley suitcase....