Mangaluru: Customs at the International Airport, seized 1.40 kg of gold bars valued over Rs 36 lakh from a passenger who arrived from Dubai on October 1.
On suspicion, the officers inquired from a frequently flying passenger as to whether he possessed any dutiable items to be declared to the Customs. As the passenger could not provide any satisfactory reply and was incoherent while responding to the officers, his baggage was subjected to detailed examination. The examination resulted in the detection of one unusually heavy voltage converter.
On a thorough examination, the officers detected three rectangular silver paint coated metallic bars, which were ingeniously concealed in coil portion of the voltage converter. The gold assayer has confirmed the bars as pure gold of 24 carat.
On interrogation, the passenger has deposed that he had intentionally concealed the gold bars to avoid detection by Customs and to evade payment of appropriate duties of Customs. Since the gold bars have been smuggled into India in contravention of the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 read with the Baggage Rules 1998, the gold bars valued over Rs 36 lakh were seized.
The passenger was arrested and produced before the Principal Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mangaluru, who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days. Further investigation is under progress.
Mangaluru Customs has been taking proactive measures of profiling passengers, identifying passengers making short trips without any ostensible reasons, maintaining database of suspicious passengers, zeroing on such suspicious passengers for detailed examination etc., in order to control smuggling of contraband.