2 held at KIA for smuggling gold

2 held at KIA for smuggling gold

Picture for representation

The customs department officials at the Kempegowda International Airport on Sunday arrested two persons for smuggling gold worth Rs 45 lakh and weighing 1.5 kg.

An invoice for the gold bars, bought in Dubai, along with a photograph of an aircraft seat on a passenger’s cell phone and the suspicious behaviour of one of the suspects raised doubts among the officials.

Modus operandi

The arrested are Reddy Bethireddy and his associate Samudra Reddy, both natives of Attili in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the customs officials, Bethireddy was travelling to Hyderabad from Dubai via Goa and Bengaluru. He had concealed the gold bars beneath his seat on the Air India flight. Midway, he developed cold feet and decided to disembark in Bengaluru. He also made arrangements  for Samudra to travel to Hyderabad on his seat. The plan was to allow Samudra to travel from Bengaluru to Hyderabad on the domestic leg of the international flight.

“Reddy Bethireddy sent his e-ticket and a photograph of his seat to Samudra Reddy when he got down in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, Samudra Reddy gained entry into the airport by showing a pre-booked ticket to Thiruvananthapuram from Bengaluru, and got on to the Air India flight to Hyderabad,” an official said.

Finding Bethireddy’s movements odd, the officials picked him up for questioning. On checking his belongings, the officials stumbled upon the invoice of the gold bars and questioned Bethireddy. His answers did not satisfy the officials, who confiscated his cell phone. A customs official then boarded the domestic leg of the international airport to follow Samudra and nabbed him along with the gold bars when the plane landed in Hyderabad.