CBI officials on Monday arrested three Customs officers, including the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, from Trichy airport after reports suggested that the three were aiding the smuggling of gold in and out of the airport.
The staff at the airport has also been questioned by a team of 10 CBI officials from Chennai.
On Sunday afternoon, a CBI team, led by the Superintendent of Police (CBI), Michael Raj, questioned passengers who had arrived in Trichy from Singapore. After the passengers alighted from the Air India Express flight, around 70 passengers were stopped by the CBI after the team received a tip-off.
Out of the 70 passengers, the CBI team have detained 29 people, including 8 women, for further questioning in connection with the smuggling.
The team has seized more than 500 bundles of cigarettes and more than 300 bottles of alcohol from those who were detained. Inquiries were also conducted with the airport staff regarding the issue and the officers also conducted searches in the houses of the arrested officers. The CBI team has been carrying out an investigation in connection with gold smuggling at the airport for the past 24 hours.
This action by the CBI comes after multiple seizures of noble metals from Trichy airport have been recorded in the recent past.
On August 1, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials seized gold biscuits weighing 6.5 kgs from three passengers who landed in Trichy from Kuala Lumpur. The seized gold biscuits were worth Rs 2.15 crores.
Baby tortoises were seized from a passenger from Sri Lanka on arrival and were handed over to the forest department officials in July. The tortoises were found packed in eight boxes and weighed around 12.5 kgs.
In June, the customs officials had seized gold worth Rs 56 lakhs from four passengers who landed at Trichy airport from Dubai.