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Rs 25.3 crore worth gold seized at Surat as DRI busts smuggling racket backed by airport officials

DRI seizes 48 kg Gold Paste worth ₹25.26 crore at Surat International Airport under Operation Goldmine

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 42 kg of gold valued at Rs 25. 3 crore at Surat International Airport from three passengers who were trying to smuggle the precious metal into the country in collusion with airport officials. This is one of the biggest gold seizures at an airport in recent times, according to an official statement.

Based on specific intelligence, officers of DRI intercepted the three passengers who arrived from Sharjah by Air India Express Flight at Surat International Airport on July 7. Examination of their hand baggage and check-in baggage was carried out and 43.5 kg of gold in paste form was found concealed in 20 white colour packets hidden in five black belts, the statement said.

The interrogation of passengers revealed that the gold was concealed for smuggling into India with the help of officials posted at the Surat International Airport. The exchange of gold was planned to be done in a toilet located before the immigration checkpoint to evade screening and examination by authorities.

Subsequent actions resulted in a further recovery of 4.67 kg of gold in paste form, found abandoned in the men’s washroom adjacent to the immigration checkpoint, which was handed over by CISF to DRI.

A total of 48.20 kg gold paste recovered from the passengers was subjected to extraction, and more than 42 kg of gold (purity 99%) worth Rs. 25.26 crore was recovered.

The statements of the persons were recorded under Customs Act, 1962, and based on their role, three passengers along with one airport official have been arrested. From the investigation so far, it appears that an organised smuggling racket has been operating at the Surat International Airport.

Further investigation to find out involvement of other persons including officials at the airport, is being carried out, to dismantle the entire smuggling syndicate.