Gold worth over Rs 5 crore seized at Mumbai airport, 6 Sudanese nationals arrested
New Delhi: The Customs officials seized 12 kg gold worth Rs 5.4 crore from a group of 23 Sudanese passengers who had arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai from Dubai.
The official said that the group of 23 Sudanese gathered and attempted to clear the green channel by creating ruckus and divert attention of the customs officers.
“The Sudanese passengers deliberately created a ruckus at customs arrival area through visible signs and acts of aggression including shouting at the officers and even indulging in physical bouts,” the official said.
The customs officers remained professional and through reasonable force officers were able to restrain the hostile passengers and managed the situation.
The official said that the modus operandi was to create a ruckus at the customs arrival area to facilitate sly escape of passengers carrying gold.
“Effective and swift execution by customs officers resulted in recovery of 12 gold bars of one kg each concealed in a specially designed belt worn by one passenger trying to slip away under the cover of commotion. In this matter, five other passengers who deliberately acted in hostile manner to divert attention of the customs officers were also detained for questioning,” the official said.
The customs officials learnt that the six passengers had arrived at Mumbai airport with a pre-planned strategy to create situations to help slipping away of one passenger with the seized gold.
The five passengers have admitted being part of the pre-conceived conspiracy to smuggle gold and have also been arrested along with the passenger from whom the gold was recovered. All have been remanded to judicial custody of 14 days.
“In addition, six other Sudanese passengers who added to the commotion by constantly resisting customs check were apprehended. With the help of Bureau of Immigration, Mumbai Airport office, these six passengers have been blacklisted and sent back to Sudan,” the official said.
Further investigation in the matter is on.