Over 1 kilo gold has been seized by customs officials in a span of just two days in separate incidents at the Calicut Airport, Kerala. The Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Cochin has taken to Twitter to inform that the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) at Kozhikode (Calicut) airport has seized a total 653 grams of gold and 10,000 cigarettes from the possession of four passengers travelling by two different flights.
One passenger carried 325 grams of gold by flight SG 9560 from Jeddah. While the remaining three passengers carried 10,000 cigarettes, 207 grams of gold and 121 grams of gold separately by flight SG153 from Dubai, said the Commissionerate.
The person travelling from Jeddah concealed the gold inside adaptors and cello tape.
AIU Calicut seized 325gm gold from a pax travelling by flight SG 9560 from Jeddah. The gold was concealed inside adaptors & cello tape. Further investigation is underway.@cbic_india@cgstcustvm#IndianCustomsAtWork pic.twitter.com/nWN42yKcrY— Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Cochin (@ccphqrskochi) September 6, 2020
While the three passengers travelling from Dubai hid the gold and cigarettes inside a speaker and the wheels of a trolley bag, the Commissionerate added.
AIU Calicut seized 207gm gold, 121gm gold and 10000 cigarettes from 3 pax travelling by flight SG153 from Dubai. The gold was concealed inside a speaker and wheels of trolley bag. Further investigation is underway.@cbic_india@cgstcustvm#IndianCustomsAtWork pic.twitter.com/Cq0Oz80psU— Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Cochin (@ccphqrskochi) September 6, 2020
The two cases are being investigated further said the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Cochin in its tweet.
In a similar case, a passenger arriving from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia was caught by the AIU at Kozhikode (Calicut) airport on September 5 carrying around 700 gms of gold valued at Rs 36 lakhs. The passenger had concealed the gold in a pressure cooker.
AIU Calicut seized 700gm gold valued at Rs.32.67 Lakhs from a pax travelling by flight SG 9760 from Jeddah. The gold was concealed inside a pressure cooker. One pax has been arrested & further investigation is in progress@cbic_india@cgstcustvm#IndianCustomsAtWork pic.twitter.com/PuAMyxAoza— Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Cochin (@ccphqrskochi) September 5, 2020
Kerala gold smuggling racket
Multiple cases of gold smuggling have been reported from Kerala in the past. In one such high-profile, multi-crore gold smuggling case that stung the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left front government in Kerala, the NIA had found that the racket had managed to bring in 1.5 quintals (150 kgs) of gold in the country through diplomatic channels at Thiruvananthapuram airport since September 2019.
The NIA had also disclosed that the smuggling of gold was not done for jewellery but funding terrorist activities in India.
The name of the Chief Minister’s office in Kerala was dragged in the case when it was disclosed that the 30 Kg of gold that was seized on 5th July by customs was smuggled by misusing diplomatic immunity.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s close aide and IT secretary M Shivshankarhad allegedly helped the now arrested- Swapna Suresh smuggle the gold.