January 30, 2021 2:10:16 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed an FIR against seven persons including two superintendents with Ahmedabad Customs for their alleged involvement in smuggling of gold items and other goods worth crores of rupees through the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad.
As per the FIR filed by the CBI, the accused Somnath Chaudhary and Sujeet Kumar, superintendents of Customs, along with five others- Sajahan Chowdhury, Shahidul Chowdhury, Mohmad Sarfaraz Mansuri, Shamim and Mohamad Azam -have been booked under Indian Penal Code Section 120B for criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
According to the FIR details, the CBI received a written complaint from Kumar Santosh, principal commissioner of Ahmedabad Customs, on October 5 last year wherein it was stated that “some unscrupulous persons based in Vapi were indulging in smuggling of gold in the form of paste and 24 carat pure gold jewellery form from Dubai via the SVPI Airport in Ahmedabad by engaging carriers (sic).”
According to officials, the nexus was revealed on June 27 in 2019 when a team of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested two persons Shahidul Chowdhury and Mohamad Sarfaraz Mansuri, who arrived at the SVPI airport from Dubai with 1,400 grams gold chain, 1,127 grams pure gold in form of paste, 10 kg of saffron and 4000 pocuhes of gutkha.
The authorities found out that Shahidul Chowdhury and his brother Sajahan Chowdhury run a jewellery shop in Vapi and have been involved in gold smuggling for many months prior to June 2019.
The FIR further states, “the said smugglers were aided and abetted by Somnath Chaudhary, the then Superintendent of Customs posted at the Air Intelligence Unit in SVPI airport for monetary gains. The illegal money trail consideration flowing from smugglers to Somnath Chaudhary has bene brought to light by DRI investigation. The circumstancial evidence has also linked the involvement of another officer Sujeet Kumar (sic).”
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