An air passenger was captured for attempting to hide 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.
Incidents of gold smuggling have been routinely reported from Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram International airports. 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.
In September, more than 1 kg of gold was seized by the Customs department in the Karipur airport within a span of two days. The gold was seized in two different incidents from passengers who arrived in two separate flights.
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 325 grams of gold was seized from one passenger who flew Singapore Airlines from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Other three passengers who were captured had been carrying 10,000 cigarettes, 207 grams of gold and 121 grams of gold separately. They had flown in from Dubai. The three 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.