Kozhikode : We often hear stories of how drug traffickers and gold smugglers around the world adopt bizarre ways to smuggle illegal things from one place to another. In the COVID19 era, an air passenger thought that a mask would be a wonderful place to hide the gold! The man was arrested for attempting to conceal 40 grams of smuggled gold in his N-95 mask in Kerala.
The incident occurred at the Kozhikode International Airport situated in Karipur and the passenger who had flown in from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been captured by the Air Intelligence Unit of the Calicut airport. According to reports, the smuggled gold worth Rs 2 lakh was recovered from the passenger who is a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka and had flown to Kozhikode from Dubai.
Gold smuggling incidents from Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram International airports have been routinely reported. More than 1 kg of gold was seized by the Customs department in the Karipur airport within two days in September.
In the beginning of September, another passenger who had flown in from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Karipur, were caught by the Air Intelligence Unit for smuggling gold worth more than Rs 30 lakhs. The smuggled gold was hidden inside a pressure cooker. The Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive), Kochi, informed that the Air Intelligence Unit had seized 653 grams of gold and 10,000 cigarettes from passengers at that time while from one passenger who flew Singapore Airlines from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, 325 grams of gold was seized.
Other three passengers who were captured had been carrying 10,000 cigarettes, 207 grams of gold and 121 grams of gold separately. Those 3 passengers who had flown in from Dubai had hidden the gold inside a speaker and the wheels of a trolley bag.
Kerala’s ruling party was stuck into a controversy after a high class case of gold smuggling was uncovered in the midst of the pandemic when a diplomatic baggage sent from the UAE was found to have smuggling gold. A few key persons including Minority Affairs minister KT Jaleel were questioned by the Enforcement Directorate and the National Investigation Agency for their supposed links to the case. Jaleel was probed about his links with Swapna Suresh, a previous worker of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram and one of the main charges for the situation.