Featured Image: Representational photo.
By A Newsman
Kolkata, 19 January: IT’s raining gold at Kolkata airport, well almost literally!
In less than 24 hours, 3.17 kg smuggled gold has been seized by the Customs department officers at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. The gold has been seized from five fliers.
What’s more! Two of the six passengers hid the gold in their rectum so to smuggle them in by evading the customs duty.
According to Vinod Kumar Pandey, the assistant commissioner of the Customs department’s Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) at Kolkata airport, the six passengers who arrived in different flights were nabbed on the basis of a tipoff.
The first seizure came late yesterday night when 317 gram gold chain was found on Seikh Amirul of Kamarhati in northern fringes of Kolkata. Amirul, who had landed from Bangkok by a Thai Airways flight, had concealed the gold in the sole of his slippers.
Second seizure came around 6.30 today morning when 363 grams of gold chains were found on Sonu Sahani of Park Street in Kolkata. Sonu had flown in from Bangkok by a SpiceJet flight, and had hidden the gold in a ladies purse.
The next seizure came around 8 am when Kamlesh Verma was apprehended on his arrival from Dhaka by a Regent Airways flight. In all, 490 grams of gold was found on him that he had concealed in his shoes.
While the cumulative 1.17 kg gold worth Rs 31 lakh was seized by the AIU officers; the three were let off as the monetary value of each of the individual seizure is less than Rs 20 lakh. To arrest someone with smuggled gold, a seizure has to be valued at Rs 20 lakh or above.
But that was not the end! Around 12.15 this afternoon, the Customs officers apprehended Hari Prasad Barma, who arrived by an IndiGo flight from Imphal in Manipur. On frisking, three gold bars weighing 1 kg was found concealed in the rectum of Barma, who hails from Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas district.
In quick succession, again at around 1.40 pm, Udai Shankar Rai of central Kolkata was nabbed on his arrival by an IndiGo flight from Guwahati. He too had hid three gold bars weighing 1 kg in the rectum, which were recovered by frisking.
Both the fliers were arrested as the individual seizure from them is valued at over Rs 20 lakh. The gross value of the gold seized from the two passengers is Rs 53 lakh.