Chennai: Gold and foreign currency worth Rs 2.77 crore seized, 6 arrested

Chennai Air Customs officials arrested six international passengers for smuggling gold and foreign currency via different means including concealment in wigs, socks, innerwear, rectum. 

Based on intelligence, officials intercepted Magroob Akbarali of Ramanathapuram and Zubair Hassan Rafiyutheen of Chennai, who arrived from Dubai. According to officials, the passengers were examined as their hairstyles raised suspicion. On examination, they were found to be wearing wigs over their partly tonsured heads. Two gold paste packets weighing 698 grams were found concealed under their wigs, which on extraction yielded 595 grams gold.

As much as 622 grams of gold concealed as paste in three bundles was seized from Balu Ganesan who arrived via the same flight. The passenger was arrested. 

On Saturday, officials intercepted and frisked Anbazhagan, from whom four packets of gold paste weighing 1.5 kg recovered from inside his socks and stitched inside his inner garment. On extraction 1.33 kg gold valued at Rs. 62 lakhs recovered and seized. A. Thamin Ansari of Chennai, the receiver of gold was also nabbed from outside the airport when he approached the passenger to take the gold. Both smuggler and receiver were arrested. 

Rummaging of Indigo flight led to the seizure of eight 10 Tola gold bars with foreign marking weighing 933 grams, valued at Rs 43.30 lakhs. The gold bars were found in a cloth bag concealed in the hollow pipe beneath one of the aircraft seat.

On Friday, officials intercepted and frisked Dubai and Sharjah returnees Syed Ahamedulla, Santhosh Selvam and Abdullah, as their hairstyles seemed suspicious. They were found to be having partly tonsured heads and wearing wigs, under which three gold paste packets weighing 2.41 kgs were concealed. On extraction, 2.08 kg gold valued at Rs. 96.57 lakhs was recovered and seized under Customs Act. All three were arrested. 

In another case, four passengers bound for Sharjah were intercepted in the departure terminal after they had cleared Immigration and were proceeding towards the security hold area.  On search of their suspicious hairstyles, 67500 Saudi Riyals, 4750USD, 6500 Dirhams, 800000 Takas were found concealed under their wigs and pant pockets. Foreign currency worth Rs. 24.06 lakhs was recovered and seized under Customs Act read with FEMA regulations 2015.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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