Nabbed gold smuggler ran racket for last five years

Sushant Ranjan
Monday, 19 June 2017

Pune: Investigation by Customs officials has revealed that a man detained at Pune airport with 444 grams of gold ornaments worth Rs 13.17 lakh, had been involved in smuggling gold for the last five years. 

The accused often changed details of his occupation for his visa and used to come to India via Goa and Mangalore. After vigil intensified there, he decided to land in Pune from Dubai.

Pune: Investigation by Customs officials has revealed that a man detained at Pune airport with 444 grams of gold ornaments worth Rs 13.17 lakh, had been involved in smuggling gold for the last five years. 

The accused often changed details of his occupation for his visa and used to come to India via Goa and Mangalore. After vigil intensified there, he decided to land in Pune from Dubai.

Customs officials at Pune airport on June 11 seized gold ornaments from the passenger, identified as Mohammad Afauque, who arrived on Air India’s Dubai-Pune flight IX2012. Afauque had 19 gold chains, 28 earrings and 14 pendants. The gold ornaments were hidden in jeans’ pockets in a 
trolley bag.

According to a Customs official, “We had a tip-off that one passenger on the  Air India flight has gold in his bag. On questioning, he said he is from Bhatkal and for the first time he arrived at Pune airport. Earlier he arrived at Goa and Mangalore airports. This aroused our suspicion.”

“For visa details he stated that he worked as Marketing Executive, Accounts Officer, Sales Manager with different companies. Our suspicion grew when we found he changed occupation every 3 to 4 months,” said a senior customs officer. 

During interrogation he revealed that he used to come Goa and Mangalore because both cities are close to Bhatkal in Karnataka. Whenever he arrived at those two airports, he used to tell the officials there that he worked in Dubai and always went to his native place, Bhatkal. His passport was issued in Dubai.

A number of cases of attempts to smuggle gold at Pune airport have come to light and coincidentally, they all came from Dubai.

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