Customs department busts gold smuggling syndicate at Chennai International airport

Probe revealed that the smugglers rented a shop inside the airport and recruited eight persons to receive gold from transit passengers.


Published Jun 30, 2024 | 5:38 PM Updated Jun 30, 2024 | 7:40 PM

Gold smuggling. Representational Image. (Creative Commons)

In a major intelligence operation, the Customs department at the Chennai airport busted a syndicate which was involved in smuggling 267 kg of gold worth ₹167 crore from Sri Lanka in the last two months.

An intelligence tip-off led to the arrest of a shop owner, and his staff who were allegedly involved in the crime.

In a press release from Chennai International Airport, Principal Commissioner R Srinivasa Naik said a sales executive of the Airhub shop located at the international terminal was intercepted on suspicious movement and during a personal search by the sleuths of the department, three bundles of gold concealed in his body were recovered.

He had received the contraband from a transit passenger, a Sri Lankan national.

Also Read: Over 9 kg gold worth ₹6.29 crore seized at Bengaluru airport

Modus operandi

Further probe revealed that the smugglers hailing from Sri Lanka had rented the Airhub shop and had recruited eight persons to receive gold from transit passengers.

These individuals, upon receiving the gold from air passengers, would conceal it in their bodies and smuggle it out of the airport. “Under this modus operandi, they successfully smuggled 267 kg of gold worth ₹167 crore in a span of two months,” the release said.

The Sri Lankan national who had handed over the gold, the owner (of the Airhub shop) and staff were arrested and sent to judicial custody. Further investigation was on, the release added.

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