The passengers were intercepted based on specific inputs that they were carrying foreign-marked gold.

Representational image showing several gold bars on a white surfaceImage for representation
news Gold smuggling Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 08:42

Gold estimated to be worth over Rs 70 lakh was seized from two passengers who arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad by a flight from Visakhapatnam. In a press release, the Customs officials on Saturday said that the passengers were intercepted at the airport on Friday based on specific inputs that they were carrying foreign-marked gold.

The duo were international passengers travelling from Dubai to Visakhapatnam and then Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad in the same flight. They were found carrying four pieces of gold weighing 1.38 kg, valued at Rs 70.95 lakh, the release added. The material has been seized under provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 and further investigation is underway, officials said.

Earlier this month, Customs officials in Hyderabad seized 21 kg of gold worth over Rs 25 crore from the Hyderabad airport at Shamshabad. The unclaimed consignment of gold biscuits and jewellery, which did not have any supporting documents, arrived from one of the Gulf countries and was headed to Mumbai, officials said at the time.

Officials said that the cargo was in transit at the Hyderabad airport and was headed to Mumbai via a domestic cargo flight when they intercepted it. This was the first major haul by the Customs since the airport resumed operations in May. After being shut for around two months due to the pandemic, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which oversees the airport's functioning, had resumed operations in May with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Meanwhile, Telangana registered 1,273 new coronavirus cases, increasing the state's total tally to 2.3 lakh, out of which 19,937 were active cases. According to a bulletin issued by the state health department on Saturday, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) areas logged the highest number of new cases at 227 in a 24-hour period. The state's COVID-19 death toll is at 1,303, while 2.09 lakh people have recovered from the virus.

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