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Customs officials at Mumbai airport seize gold worth Rs 1.99 cr from aircraft toilets

Since January, Customs officials have seized 250 kgs of gold at Mumbai airport.

Written by Anjali Lukose | Mumbai |
Updated: June 6, 2015 8:44:30 pm
Gold seized by customs officials from the rear toilets of a Jet Airways flight at Mumbai airport (Source: Anjali Lukose) Gold seized by customs officials from the rear toilets of a Jet Airways flight at Mumbai airport (Source: Anjali Lukose)

In the largest seizure of the year so far, Customs officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) seized gold worth Rs 1.99 crore from the two rear toilets of a Jet Airways flight early Saturday morning.

According to Customs officials, around eight kgs of gold was stuck to the underside of the wastebin flapper in flight 9W 539 from Muscat to Mumbai.

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“We had information and also intercepted passenger Segu Naina Mohamed Shektheen Sha. He admitted concealment inside the toilet and said that the gold was to be retrieved during the domestic leg of the flight, when it would fly to Kolkata,” said an official from the Air Intelligence Unit.

The passenger was arrested and will be produced before the court for judicial custody.

In April, officials recovered two cut pieces of gold bars worth Rs 24.68 lakh from the toilet of a Dubai-Mumbai flight and another 1.8kg of gold in the form of 16 gold bars from under a seat of a Doha–Mumbai plane. In February, an international flight departing to Muscat was detained by Mumbai Customs and 6kg gold worth Rs 1.49 crore was recovered from the toilets.

In Mumbai, there were at least four instances of airport-related employees being caught by Customs since February 11 – the first such catch this year – when a ground handling firm employee was nabbed for acting as a carrier for gold worth Rs 1.5 crore. Since then, a flight attendant was caught trying to smuggle gold and diamonds worth Rs 1.06 crore; two employees of a flight catering service was arrested as they were attempting a series of gold retrievals from four flights worth Rs 1.6 crore; and a senior executive from a ground handling firm was detained when he tried to trying to receive gold worth Rs 1.03 crore from a passenger.

Since January, Customs has seized 250kgs of gold at Mumbai airport.

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