Monday, September 11, 2023

Airline employee among 6 held for smuggling gold

Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a gold smuggling racket and arrested six persons, including an IndiGo employee and two gold melters from Kalbadevi. The officials seized 7.5kg of gold dust, cash and silver coins with a total value of Rs 4.51 crore.

The accused have been identified as IndiGo employee Umer Moin Shaikh (26), Zameer Gani Tambe (23), Yaser Dafedar (27), Mohit Basantlal Lotwani and gold melters Armratlal alias Lakshman (54) and his son Kishore Lakshman (29). The officials said that the gang has been smuggling gold into India and, in return, sending foreign exchange to Dubai.

DRI officials on Saturday received a specific intelligence input that a passenger arriving from Dubai would be smuggling gold and leaving it under a particular seat of the aircraft. The tip-off also said that one of the ground staff of the airline would pick up the gold packet. Soon after the flight landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, the DRI intercepted Shaikh, the security executive of the airline. His personal search resulted in the recovery of two black packets containing 1.7 kg of gold concealed in his shoes. Shaikh said that a passenger with seat number 22F had left the packet and the instruction was to pick it up and hand it over to one Dafedar (one of the arrested accused) outside the airport.

11/09/2023 Ahmed Ali/Times of India

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