CHENNAI: Sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and customs on Sunday seized around seven kilograms of gold valued at Rs 2 crore at the Chennai Airport.
Based on specific information that a huge quantity of gold is being smuggled from Colombo by one Mohamed Niyas by Sri Lankan airlines flight UL125, a special team of DRI maintained a special watch at the aerobridge, tarmac and arrival hall area of the Anna International Airport.
As passengers began walking out, they intercepted Mohamed Niyas of S P Pattinam, who flew from Dubai as transit passenger at Colombo, and admitted to having distributed the gold in paste form to 29 passengers on board the flight.
The said 29 passengers were also intercepted and they confessed to have received gold from Niyas.
Around seven kilograms gold worth Rs 2.28 crore (International value) was recovered and seized under the provisions of the Customs Act 1962. One of the 29 passengers was arrested based upon his previous criminal antecedent. The offenders and the seized gold were handed over to the customs sleuths.
On Sunday night, customs officials on suspicion intercepted a male passenger, Hussain of Kadapa, who arrived from Kuwait by Kuwait Airways. A search of his hand baggage yielded gold sheets, gold rings, and cut bits concealed inside two wrist watches. The recovered gold weighing 352 gms worth Rs 11,88,000 was seized.
Similarly, airport customs on Sunday morning seized Rs 6.5 lakh worth Saudi and Oman Riyals from Syed Ahamed (52) of Madurai, who was bound for Dubai by Indigo Airlines. Syed was subjected to a thorough search of his person and baggage. The Riyal valued at Rs 6.5 lakh, was seized by officials. Sources said Syed was being quizzed to find out if he has links with any hawala operators....