Chennai: The Air Customs Officials in Chennai busted a new modus operandi, by seizing gold worth Rs 1.57 cr that were concealed in LCD monitors and hidden in laptop screens and in trolley bags. All the eight passengers who had attempted to smuggle in the precious yellow metal had flown in from Dubai.
According to officials, during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, they intercepted three passengers of flight FZ 851, based on intelligence regarding gold smuggling. On examination of their checked-in baggage, 36 mini LCD monitors were found, in which gold sheets were concealed.
Gold sheets weighing 1.36 kg valued at Rs 68.08 lakh were recovered and seized.
The passengers were identified as Mohamed Issak, 26, of Trichy, Sadiq Ali, 53, and Mohamed Nagoor Hanifa, 36, of Chennai. Hanifa was arrested.
Similarly, four passengers who had arrived via Air India flight IX 1644 had been intercepted. Examination of their check-in bags revealed 28 gold sheets concealed inside mini LCD monitors, 10 gold foils concealed in five laptops and two gold foils concealed in two of their trolley bags were recovered. 28 gold sheets and 12 gold foils weighing 1.62 kg valued at Rs 81.25 lakh were recovered and seized.
The passengers were identified as Hoosainur Rahman, 22, from Ilayangudi, Mohamed Gani, 45, from Sivaganga, Abdul Karim, 52, and Khader Humayun, 25, from Chennai. Gani and Rahman were arrested.
In another case, frisking of Sahubar Aasik, 24, of Ramanathapuram who had arrived via flight Indigo 6E-66 revealed three plastic pouches of gold paste weighing 190 grams in his trousers. On extraction, 165 grams of gold valued at Rs 8.26 lakh was recovered and seized.
A total of 3.15 kg valued at Rs 1.57 crore was recovered and seized under the Customs Act, 1962 from eight passengers, of which, three were arrested.