Gold smuggling: Passenger, airport officer arrested

Gold smuggling: Passenger, airport officer arrested

The gold bars and sheet seized from a passenger at Mangaluru International Airport.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, regional unit, Mangaluru sleuths seized 12 tola bars of gold and one sheet of gold weighing 1515.270 gram, from an international passenger, who arrived Mangaluru International Airport from Dubai. The value of the seized gold is Rs 47 lakh.

Acting on credible intelligence that one international passenger by name Nizar Khadar Mulleria, (32) of Mulleria, Kasargod, Kerala arriving by Spicejet Flight No SG-60 from Dubai to Mangalore at around 6.15 pm on Thursday would attempt to smuggle gold into the country in connivance with one of the staffers of the airport, the sleuths fixed surveillance at the airport.

On arrival of the Aircraft from Dubai, the passenger was identified and intercepted at the aircraft door and was escorted to customs arrival area and subjected to thorough checking. On checking his hand baggage, a brown coloured valet bag was found. On a thorough check of the bag, a black coloured mobile phone cover (pouch) was found. It was observed that the mobile phone was heavier than usual. On opening the mobile phone, it was found that 12 tola bars of gold of foreign origin (intact) and one sheet of gold of foreign origin were cleverly concealed inside mobile phone cover by using black/silver adhesive tapes in order to avoid detection.

The contraband gold was later seized by the officers of DRI under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. The passenger was arrested for attempting to smuggle gold bars into the country.

Further working on the intelligence, one official working at the airport was also waylaid for interrogation and crucial evidence regarding abetment of smuggling of contraband gold was revealed. The search of the official’s residence led to recovery and seizure of Rs 25 lakh in cash which was purportedly received for abetting the illegal activity. The officer was also arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigation is in progress, DRI Assistant Director Shreyas K M said.