According to the Customs sleuths, the Malayali passenger was a frequent flyer to the Middle East and other Far East places, although he neither had any job or business in any of these places.

Gold biscuits worth Rs 85 lakhs concealed in laptop seized at Kochi airportImage for representation
news Crime Sunday, February 10, 2019 - 09:51

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) on Saturday witnessed high drama after the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs seized 22 gold biscuits, worth about Rs 85 lakhs, concealed in the battery compartment of a laptop. According to a report by The New Indian Express (TNIE), Sumit Kumar, the Customs Commissioner, said that the passenger who was in possession of the gold was intercepted following a specific tip-off.

“The passenger, a Malayali, arrived in a flight from Dubai. The biscuits were cleverly concealed inside the laptop. Even though the laptop was scanned at the airport, the gold could not be detected as it looked like mobile phones in the scanner,” he was reported as saying.

A Deccan Chronicle report states that the Customs sleuths have been monitoring the passenger from the moment he landed at the airport as he was a frequent flyer to the Middle East and other Far East places despite the fact that he neither had any job or a business in any of these places.

The report says that the passenger got tensed on seeing the customs officials trailing him, following which, he took refuge in a public toilet inside the international terminal, where he stayed for at least 30 minutes.

However, the customs officials waited for him outside the toilet and once he came out, they took custody of the baggage that he was holding. He is reported to have denied possessing any contraband to the officials.

As per TNIE report, Sumit Kumar is quoted to have said that, “the laptop was found heavier than normal. So, officers disassembled the laptop and found the gold bars inside.”

The Customs Commissioner said that on interrogation, the passenger said that he was a juice seller in Bengaluru. “We strongly suspect that he is part of an organised syndicate that frequently smuggle gold to the country,” said Sumit.

He also added that the Customs Department had begun a manhunt to track the contact person who was supposed to take the delivery of the consignment from the passenger.