The Hush Post: Gold worth Rs 63 lakh was left by a flyer in the dustbin of a washroom at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. The packet containing 20 gold bars was left for someone to pick it up, before which the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) detected it. The AIU personnel had been trailing the flyer who was later arrested.
The flyer Nasir Khan arrived from Dubai and was followed by the AIU when he went to the toilet. “He was intercepted while coming out of the toilet and a search of the dustbin in the cubicle resulted in the recovery of a packet containing 20 gold bars, weighing 2.3kg,” said a senior AIU officer, while talking to a national daily.
Authorities say that Khan was a carrier who might be getting a commission to smuggle the gold worth Rs 63 lakh. “We suspect there was someone who was expected to retrieve the gold from the toilet. We are scanning CCTV footage,” said the officer. The involvement of any airport staffer is also being looked into.
Three years ago, a similar incident had occurred at the same airport when Mumbai Customs officials had seized 18 bars of gold worth Rs 47.81 lakh from the dustbins at the first and last toilet cubicles of the washroom near the immigration arrival hall.
In May this year, gold worth ₹29 lakh was recovered from a passenger’s seat in an aircraft coming from Dubai.
Custom officials said the spate of gold smuggling indicates a regular pattern wherein smugglers are concealing gold in places such as seats and toilets which is retrieved later by another carrier.
AIU had recently arrested a 30-yr-old man Noushad Kandathil for carrying $33,000 (equivalent to Rs 22 lakh) concealed in a pair of jeans in his checked-in luggage.