Over three kilograms of gold worth Rs 1.59 crore was seized in multiple incidents at the Chennai airport over the last few days, the Customs Department said on Wednesday, January 18. Gold was concealed in paste form in the body of several passengers, who arrived from Dubai and Colombo respectively, between January 15 and 16 at the Chennai international airport. Some women travellers were among the passengers carrying metal hidden inside their bodies. In total, 3.14 kg of the precious metal was confiscated from the passengers, and an investigation was on, a press release from the Customs said.
On January 11, Chennai Customs seized a variety of exotic animals which were found in two unattended bags, near the baggage claim belt at the international airport. The bag contained 45 ball pythons, three marmosets, three star tortoises and eight corn snakes. The bag belonged to a passenger who had arrived from Thailand.
Apart from exotic animals, the Customs Department also seized over 200 kilograms of gold worth Rs 94 crore, along with foreign currencies and narcotic substances in 2022. Between January and December 2022, 205 kg of gold worth Rs 94.22 crore was seized in 293 cases of which the majority of the smuggled precious metal was from passengers who arrived in Chennai from Dubai, Sharjah and other Gulf locations, the overview of the year shared by the Customs Department said.