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32kg gold bars worth Rs100m recovered from Air India flight

32kg gold bars worth Rs100m recovered from Air India flight

CHENNAI: Thirty two gold bars, worth Rs90.500 million in the Indian market, have been recovered from the lavatory of an Air India flight and four persons arrested in this connection.

The Chennai Zonal Unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had received a tip-off that a huge consignment of gold would be smuggled from Dubai to Chennai on Air India flight AI 906. Abdul Gaffur and Mohammed Zainul, identified as Sri Lankan nationals, were offloaded from the plane to complete their customs clearance. CISF sources said the team was sure these men were the smugglers, but could find nothing in their minimal luggage. Gaffur and Zainul had demanded to be freed, because they were innocent.

“The plane was a continuing flight from Dubai-Chennai-Delhi and so, the other passengers were still on board. The DRI officials immediately took them to the plane to check if they had stashed the gold there,” said the source.

Suspecting that the gold had been left on the plane so that two passengers flying only on the Chennai-Delhi run would be able to pick it up and evade any customs check at all, the officials quickly checked the passenger manifest.