In one of the single biggest gold seizures in the recent past, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) intercepted 14 passengers, who were coming after the Umrah trip, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here on Tuesday and seized around 6.46 kilograms of gold worth Rs.2.17 crore.
Based on specific intelligence and in coordination with South Zone Task Force personnel, officers of DRI intercepted the flyers and after verification, each of them was found to be carrying foreign marked gold in the form of cut pieces, 24 karat ‘kadas’ and 24 karat gold chains.
The gold was smuggled into the country by concealing the same on person. The passengers, all residents of Hyderabad, had arrived by the Saudi Airlines flight SV-744 from Jeddah on Tuesday. They did not have any documents to prove the legal import of the gold. The total weight of the foreign gold recovered and seized under Customs Act-1962 is 6.46kg worth Rs.2.17 crore, officials said.
Explaining the modus operandi, officials said poor people, who want to go to Umrah, were lured by agents by sponsoring the trip at a highly discounted price. While returning, the passengers were asked to carry gold. Later, the gold would be collected by someone on the instructions of the agents. Agents would blackmail passengers at Jeddah with consequences of penalty or recovery of full charge of Umrah if they failed to act as per their instructions. Further investigation into the gold smuggling case is on.
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