Monday, November 04, 2019

Smugglers target airlines staff to sneak out gold from RGIA

Hyderabad: The recent arrest of an Indigo Airlines customer service employee has brought to the fore how smugglers are using airlines staff to sneak gold out of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here after getting it from Dubai.
With the Customs and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) tightening screws by increasing surveillance on those getting gold from Dubai without valid documents, smugglers are now roping in airline staff to hoodwink Customs and DRI officials and to get the precious yellow metal out of RGIA easily. Another reason for the smugglers to involve airline staff was the low surveillance on them.
Earlier, the smugglers were seen adopting several methods, including some innovative ones, to smuggle gold into the city. They lured passengers and tourists to smuggle gold from Dubai to Hyderabad by hiding it in electrical gadgets, socks, shoes, trolley bags and even in the rectum, which, officials found out, was quite a widely used method. However, strong surveillance enabled the officials to foil these attempts and seize the gold.
Smugglers then turned to passengers who were coming home to Hyderabad after Umrah (pilgrimage). But this attempt was also thwarted by officials, with 14 people being nabbed in July. Gold weighing 6.56 kg worth Rs.2.17 crore was seized from them.
Left with no other option, the smugglers are now believed to have turned to the airline staff. It was on specific intelligence that the city unit of DRI intercepted a customer service officer of Indigo Airlines near the exit gate of the International Arrivals on October 4 and recovered 42 pieces of foreign marked gold in two packets, which were wrapped with adhesive tape.
04/11/19 Sreenivas M/Telangana Today
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