Pune: Officers of the Customs Department at the Pune International Airport on Monday nabbed a passenger and his aide following recovery of raw gold weighing 3.15 kg, estimated at Rs 1 crore, which was smuggled into India.
Maneesh Dudpuri, Assistant Commissioner (Pune Customs), Pune International Airport, said, “A passenger hailing from Mumbai was nabbed on Sunday after he arrived from Dubai by Air India Express flight. Search and detailed examination of checked-in baggage of this passenger resulted in recovery of gold.”
“The gold comprised three rhodium-plated gold wires concealed in the inner linings of the trolley bag, seven gold biscuit pieces concealed in an emergency LED light and 59 gold plates concealed in a small transformer of a digital amplifier, all kept inside a trolley bag.”
Customs officials also arrested the passenger’s aide, hailing from Bhatkal in Karnataka, who had come to the airport for receiving the smuggled gold. The duo was arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. They were produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate Satyasheela Katakare on Monday. Both were remanded in judicial custody.
Investigating officers suspect that gold was being taken to Bhatkal, which is known to be a major centre of gold smuggling racketeers.
Earlier, three garment traders from Karnataka, including one Norr Moinuddin Bappa of Bhatkal, were arrested at the Pune International Airport in October 2011 for allegedly smuggling gold.