Chennai Customs on Gold seizing spree: 2 kg Gold worth Rs. 63 Lakhs seized

Seized gold by Chennai Customs

It seems Chennai Customs is on high alert in detecting and curbing various smuggling activities at Airport and Sea Port in the recent past. In the recent case on last Sunday two smuggling cases were detected by Chennai Airport Customs. The officers of Air Inteligence Unit (AIU) seized nearly two kg gold valued at around Rs 63 lakh, from six women air passengers. Among these, five were Sri Lankan nationals and one was Indian national respectively.

In a first case of smuggling detection on Sunday, a lady passenger namely Juvairiya Fathima Nachiar, an Indian passport holder arrived from Singapore by Air India Express flight IX-687. On suspicion, she was intercepted by custom officials at exit of the Anna International Airport?s arrival hall. After thorough search on her body, it was found that she has hidden gold in her rectum. She was in possession of 2 crude gold chains and 4 gold bars each weighing 100 grams with foreign markings all of 24 Karat purity, weighing 689 grams. The gold is valued at Rs.22 lakhs totally. The gold was recovered by custom officials and seized under Customs Act 1962 and passenger was arrested.

In second occurrence of smuggling activity, 5 Sri Lankan women were found carrying yellow metal. It was found in the form of chains and cut bits. The gold was concealed on their person, which was valued at around Rs 41 lakh. All 5 ladies identified as Seethamalani aged 53, Pathima Parsana aged 29, Kalyani Kumudulatha aged 46, Wimalawathi Kumarihami aged 47 and Sithy Rajeena aged 46. All were holding Srilankan Passport, now all five ladies are behind bars.   

In the third incident on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, a ground-handling staff and a air passenger were detained for allegedly trying to smuggle gold weighing 1200 gms, hidden in a power bank. The suspicion was aroused when CISF personnel had noticed that a passenger is handing over ?Something? to ground-handling staff at the international terminal. The CISF personnel immediately informed suspicious movement of both to Custom officials. The custom officials swung into action and searched both persons. On the search,  it was found yellow metal concealed in the power bank. The total weight of gold was 1200 gms which was valued at around Rs 37 lakhs. The gold was seized and both accused were arrested and further investigation is on to ascertain more smuggling.  

One of the high ranking custom officer on the condition of anonymity said ?Every now and than smugglers are using different modus operandi to smuggle gold in to the country but we are also keeping strict vigil. We monitor each and every passengers movement arriving from abroad through CCTV. It is easy to trace smuggling when a passenger?s body language is found suspicious. No sooner they are intercepted for investigation, they reveal everything. We make sure that no smuggling activities takes place by keeping our informer network strong and intercepting various phone calls and other communication?.   

Author : Sitaram Mewati - Award Winning Journalist

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