Thiruvananthapuram: In the biggest gold haul in the state, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 25 kilograms worth Rs 8 crore from the international airport here on Monday morning. Two persons, Sunil of Tirumala and Zarina of Kazhakuttom, were arrested in this connection.
The gold biscuits were found packed in the hand bag of Sunil who arrived in an Oman Airways flight from Muscat in the morning. Zarina came along with him. It is suspected that the smugglers received the assistance of airport staff.
"We were tipped-off about the man. This is the highest seizure by the DRI team in the state," said a DRI official.
There has been a spurt in the number of seizures from the airports due to the reward scheme announced by the government. For every kg of gold seized and confiscated, the informer can get a reward of Rs 1.5 lakh per kg. Moreover, the names of informers are kept confidential. More individuals have ventured to give information to the DRI, said the official.
As per estimate, over 100 kg of gold is smuggled through the Thiruvananthapuram airport daily through carriers who purchase gold from Dubai to elude import duty at the airport. A profit of Rs 4 lakh per kg is earned by the sale of gold in the market here, the official said. The smuggled gold is mostly sold to jewelleries in the city.
Many incidents in which gold is smuggled with the assistance of airport staff have been reported from here. Many airport staff were arrested. It is reported that the staff have smuggled nearly 100 kg of gold in the last six months.
Thirumala native Sunil was working in the KSRTC as a conductor while Zarina was running a beauty parlour in Dubai....