MANGALORE: Sleuths of Directorate Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted part of a four-member gang of international-domestic gold smugglers arresting three of them and recovered 500 grams of gold worth Rs 12.5 lakh from them on Sunday. While one passenger was arrested at Mangalore International Airport, air intelligence unit personnel at Mumbai nabbed two others based on information given by DRI at Mumbai airport and recovered gold there.
Informed sources in know of the operations of this gang told TOI that they smuggled gold in small quantities on a regular basis from the Gulf. “Gang chose flights that connect domestic stations after an overnight international trip,” the sources said. Accordingly, MKP Nazar, 33, resident of Vadakara in Kerala arrived by the Jet Airways flight from Dubai that touched here this morning. This flight later took off for Mumbai by the time DRI sleuths could reach it.
The modus operandi involved Nazar concealing gold beneath the seat on the aircraft that he arrived and informing his conduit who took the same flight out to Mumbai. Nazar’s friend Paivalige Mohammad Ahmed Ali took this flight to Mumbai. First to board the flight, Ahmed Ali removed the gold concealed by Nazar and occupied his seat. “This is being done as there is no checking for contraband gold on passengers coming in domestic flights,” sources said.
At Mumbai, Ahmed Ali teamed up with Kunhi Abdulla who had come there to receive him. It was here that the air intelligence personnel nabbed them and recovered five gold biscuits from Ali. Incidentally, Nazar had brought the routine complement of electronic and other items from Dubai. “We have information that such gangs are operating using other domestic airports that have connecting international flights such as Goa, and Lucknow,” sources maintained.