A total of 24 gold biscuits worth a whopping Rs 1.37 crore was unearthed from a passenger seat of an IndiGo airlines plane after it touched down at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) from Dubai.
Investigators suspect that the gold was strategically placed by the smuggler as part of a smuggling plan for the pieces to be retrieved from the aircraft at a later stage of the flight possibly by another gang member.
Customs officials seized the gold and further probe is underway.
Sources said that the gold biscuits weighing a total 2.80 kg arrived concealed on IndiGo airlines flight 6E 096 from Dubai to Bengaluru.
The flight packed with passengers from UAE landed at KIA around 10.30 am on Tuesday and all passengers disembarked the plane.
Following a tip on the presence of large quantities of bars being smuggled on the aircraft, sleuths of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Bengaluru Customs at the KIA terminal boarded the plane and combed it thoroughly to spot two bar-like items sealed in gray-coloured duct tape stuck to the bottom of a passenger seat. Officers removed them and cut it open to find a total of 24 numbers of 10 Tola gold bars which was later weighed by officials and ascertained to be 2800 gms.
Investigators suspect that the passenger who smuggled the gold into Bengaluru on the IndiGo plane from Dubai had pasted the biscuits under the seat possibly for another gang member to retrieve it later.
International smuggling gangs often deploy the modus operandi of placing gold under passenger plane seats of international flights to be removed at a later period when the plane switches from its international leg of the journey to domestic after reaching Indian ports namely Bengaluru.
The Bengaluru Customs team seized the gold biscuits estimated to worth Rs 1.37 crore in its present market value in India and a probe is underway to track down the passenger who was traveling on the plane seat from where the gold was unearthed, sources added.
Stay tuned and updated with Aviation