Busting a new modus operandi of gold smuggling, Chennai Air Customs has seized 4.15 kg gold valued at Rs 2.17 crores.
Till now rectum concealment of gold paste bundles was the modus in operation. Under the new modus operandi, the smugglers had swallowed capsules of gold paste wrapped with polythene/rubber cover and tied with a thread. This instance has been detected for the first time in Chennai.
Based on specific intelligence, eight passengers - Ganakavalli, 56, Nishanthi, 30, Kala Peradeep Kumar, 53 and Jayaraj, 55 all from Tiruchirapalli, Jegatheesh, 37 and Ghabar Khan, 52 of Pudukottai and Mohammed Hikkam, 25, and Thasleem Fathima, 34 from Ramanathapuram, who had arrived from Dubai and Sharjah by Emirates Flight EK542 and Air Arabia Flight G9471 on 22nd January, were intercepted at the exit by AIU officers on suspicion of carrying gold.
On questioning, they admitted of concealing gold paste capsules in stomach and rectum and informed that they had swallowed gold paste capsules before departure. They also voluntarily requested in writing for taking suitable action under the Customs Act to recover the capsules containing gold paste. Accordingly, they were admitted to Stanley Government hospital to recover the capsules under expert medical supervision. The process of recovery was cumbersome and they were fed with heavy diet to facilitate ejection in a natural way. It took eight days for the process to complete.
Each capsule was 1.1-1.7 cm in diameter and weighing in the range of 15-24 grams. Total 161 capsules weighing 2.88 kg and valued at Rs. 1.28 crore were recovered from the stomach of all 8 passengers. Further, 8 bundles containing 61 capsules weighing 1.18 kg gold and valued at Rs. 51.36 lakhs were also recovered. In addition 3 gold chains, 8 gold bits, 8 gold rings, 2 bundles of gold paste totally valued at Rs. 30.64 lakhs were recovered from handbags and pant pockets. Total 4.15 kg gold valued at Rs 2.17 crore was seized under the Customs Act from 8 passengers. Seven people were arrested in connection with the case.
Further investigation is in progress.