By Paul Ploumis 12 Aug 2015 Last updated at 08:06:32 GMT
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster): The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) under Indian Customs Department has seized millions worth gold and Indian currency at Mumbai International Airport. The incidents took place on Tuesday. The AIU officers arrested several passengers and an airport cleaning staff in connection with the smuggling acts.
In the first incident, three passengers were intercepted for possession of foreign and Indian currency amounting to INR 2.68 Million. The passengers were identified as Rajkumar Ladharam Israni, Nirmal Mohanlal Dudani and Mayur Kumar Motwani. They were about to board the Emirates EK-507 flight bound for Dubai.
In the second incident, AIU officials recovered nearly INR 1.22 Million from a passenger named Rahul Maheshkumar Premchandani. He too was to fly to Dubai by the same EK-507 flight.
The officials also arrested a passenger and an airport cleaning staff for allegedly attempting to smuggle gold bars worth INR 4.7 Million. A passenger who had arrived at the airport by Kuwait Airway’s KU-310 flight had handed over the gold to the cleaning personnel. The gold was meant to be kept hidden at toilet dustbins to be later handed over members belonging to the smuggling racket.
The AIU officials, who intercepted the operation, recovered 18 gold bars weighing approximately 2 kilograms from two dustbins within men’s washroom area. Upon interrogation, the cleaning staff admitted that he was offered INR 30,000 for assisting to smuggle gold out of airport.
According to Milind Lanjewar, Additional Commissioner of Customs, this is the 19th incident so far this year when airport staff has been arrested for being involved in gold smuggling act. Earlier in July, Airport Customs officers had caught red-handed, the security-in-charge of Etihad Airways, while accepting smuggled gold from a passenger.