Gold smugglers try to trick their boss, held

Picture for representation.

A Mysuru-based businessman’s complaint about a theft helped CISF personnel nab an international gold smuggling gang of three at the Kempegowda International Airport on Sunday after two of them conspired to steal the gold from the main smuggler.

Hanjarimal Jain, a businessman and a resident of Sidharthanagar in Mysuru, walked into the CISF control room with a police complaint to check the CCTV footage regarding a missing bag containing mobile phones, cash and important documents near belt numbers 4 and 5 of the arrival hall at KIA. Jain was accompanied by Jidda Mohammad, a co-passenger, on the same flight.

While viewing the CCTV footage, CISF sub-inspector Sudhir Kumar grew suspicious about Mohammed and took him in for an inquiry, where he said that he and Jain were from Mysuru and were into the mobile phone business. He also told the CISF personnel that during the two previous instances, Jain had used Mohammed for gold smuggling.

On detailed investigation, CISF learnt that Jain used to travel from Bangkok to Bhubaneswar by Air India, which has its domestic leg from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru. He used to book a ticket for his friend Mohammed on the same flight on the domestic leg from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru after asking him to come by train to Bhubaneswar.

During the flight, Jain would hand over the bag with the smuggled gold to Mohammed since domestic passengers are not checked intensively.

On Sunday, after the flight landed, Jain was shocked to learn that Mohammed claimed that there was no gold in the bag. He grew suspicious of Mohammed and lodged a complaint with the KIA police and walked into the CISF control room to view the footage.

The CCTV footage showed Mohammed handing over the bag to another man, identified as Kashif Khan, hiding behind a pillar, and Mohammed collecting a similar bag from him. By then, Khan had walked into the domestic arrival lounge. It was then that the CISF and Jain learnt Mohammed had made Khan travel with him on the same flight and transferred the gold to him without Jain’s knowledge.

They immediately alerted officials at the exit and intercepted Khan with the bag containing four pieces of gold, weighing 400 gm, worth approximately Rs 12,60,000, and four mobile phones. The seized gold was handed over to the customs.

“His (Jain’s) passport details revealed that he had travelled to Bangkok 28 times since January 2018,” said Hemendra Singh, assistant inspector general, CISF.

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