THE DIRECTORATE of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Tuesday arrested a Ludhiana resident after gold weighing 760 grams was recovered from his possession after he arrived at Chandigarh airport on Air India’s Bangkok flight. Later, he was released on bail. DRI sources said that the market value of the gold was over Rs 21 lakh.
A senior DRI official told Chandigarh Newsline that acting on a prior input, a DRI team caught a person who was carrying gold with him. The passenger, sources said, was acting as a courier and had travelled to Bangkok last week. The gold was hidden inside his rectum.
“There were a total of 10 biscuits weighing 76 grams each. Initially, he was not ready to accept that he was carrying the gold biscuits. But later, he admitted during the questioning that he was hiding gold in his rectum,” said the senior DRI official. During questioning, the passenger said that he was promised to pay Rs 20,000 if he successfully managed to smuggle the gold into India. His tickets and stay in Bangkok were sponsored, officials said. The passenger works in the catering industry.
Tuesday’s gold seizure has come days after the customs department at Chandigarh International Airport had seized gold worth Rs 10.29 lakh from a Delhi resident, who arrived at the airport on a Dubai flight. The gold was in the form of beads on three Burkhas. The Chandigarh airport has seen several gold seizure cases at the airport this year. Tuesday’s incident is the third gold seizure incident at the airport this month.
Chandigarh has only three international flights to and from Bangkok, Dubai and Sharjah. In the previous cases, the investigation found that those caught at the airport were the couriers, which means that the gold is meant for the third person.