Four people from Haryana were arrested at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Saturday while allegedly attempting to smuggle gold ornaments valued at Rs 1 crore.
The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Mumbai Airport Customs first arrested Rakesh Kumar, who had flown in from Bangkok and was travelling to Dubai. The Rewari native is accused of smuggling gold bracelets, pendants and chains worth Rs 1.8 crore from Bangkok to Mumbai. Upon landing in Mumbai, Kumar allegedly contacted three domestic passengers who were to fly to Delhi.
Customs officials said that Kumar asked the passengers, identified as Virender Singh, Surender Singh and Dayanand, to meet him inside a toilet near departure gate number 66 and handed over the ornaments.
Customs officials claimed that Kumar had been paid Rs 20,000 by one Dilbag Chahar to collect the gold from a shop in Bangkok and smuggle it to India.
“The three domestic passengers were paid Rs 15,000 each to take the gold with them to Delhi and hand it over to another person there,” said a Customs official.
Instances of gold smuggling at the Mumbai Airport have risen over the past few months with prices of the metal rising to Rs. 32,450 for 10 grams. The Customs offcials has noted an increase in gold being smuggled into the country from South-East Asia.