MUMBAI: The customs air intelligence unit (AIU) at Mumbai airport intercepted a passenger for smuggling gold. The woman was carrying gold worth Rs 80 lakh from Dubai. According to sources from AIU, this is the biggest case of gold seizure this year. In the previous case, on January 26, gold worth Rs 27 lakh was recovered from a passenger Faizan Fazal Qazi, who had arrived from Dubai via a Jet Airways flight (9w 537).
Interestingly, the passenger, Shaikh Mumtazben Ishak, who was nabbed late on Saturday had also arrived from the same Jet Airway’s flight from Dubai. According to sources from AIU, “The passenger was intercepted at the green channel and a search of her handbag resulted in the discovery of 26 foreign marked gold bars of 10 tolas each, weighing 3kg and worth Rs 75 lakh. She was also carrying 18 gold bangles of 11gm each, weighing a total of 198gms and worth Rs 4.9 lakh.”
The total amount of gold seized from Ishak was worth almost Rs 80 lakh. Commenting on the matter, principal commissioner of AIU, A.P.S. Suri said, “We were tipped off about a passenger who had arrived from the Jet Airways flight, 9W 537 in the midnight. Our officials, started following her from the aerobridge and nabbed her at the green channel.”
According to a senior AIU official, last year in almost 45 per cent cases, women were used as gold carriers. This incident was the first case in the year where a woman passenger was caught smuggling such large quantities of gold. “We are keeping a close eye on such sensitive flights. Some time our officials in plain clothes travel in such flights to crackdown on gold smuggling,” stated the official.