The three have been booked under the Customs Act and are being interrogated by AIU officials.
Mumbai: The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai customs has arrested three Indian nationals in connection with the alleged smuggling of gold bars worth Rs 1.67 crore from Thailand.
The officials said that the two landed from Bangkok late on Saturday with 6.1 kg gold and were scheduled to meet another Indian national who had arrived from Delhi. The handover was to take place inside the terminal to avoid suspicion but the passengers were apprehended before the exchange took place. The three have been booked under the Customs Act and are being interrogated by AIU officials.
The arrested accused have been identified as Harish Chopra and Karan Kumar, who had arrived from Bangkok; and Ajay Kumar, who had arrived from Delhi, who was to receive the smuggled gold.
“The international passengers were intercepted based on specific information pertaining to the smuggling. They were stopped when they reached the exit gate. The duo had concealed the gold inside sling bags, which was found while their luggage was being checked,” said an AIU officer.
Their questioning revealed the identity of Ajay Kumar, who was to receive the consignment from them. He had arrived a while ago and was detained by AIU staff upon identification. During the accused’s joint interrogation, they spilled the beans about the smuggling. The investigators said that the plan was to get the gold out of the airport via Ajay Kumar, as domestic passengers are seldom suspected or checked by customs.
However, the duo was nabbed before they could do this and the gold was recovered. The AIU is now looking into their travel history and verifying the frequency of their international trips. A case has been registered against them as per provisions of the Customs Act.