Visuals put out by Customs officials show a man removing his wig and peeling off a packet that was glued to his partly-tonsured head.

Chennai customs seized gold from a man who tried to hide it under a wig pasted to his scalpChennai customs
news Crime Monday, March 22, 2021 - 11:33

Customs officials at the Chennai International Airport on Sunday held two men for trying to smuggle gold by concealing it under their wigs. Visuals put out by officials show a man removing his wig and peeling off a packet that was glued to his partly-tonsured head. Officials say that the two passengers were trying to smuggle in gold from Dubai.

In a press release, the Customs officials at Chennai airport said that based on a tip-off, 39-year-old Magroob Akbarali, a resident of Ramanathapuram, and Zubair Hassan Rafiyutheen, 26, a resident of  Chennai, who arrived from Dubai via Fly-Dubai FZ8515, were intercepted at the exit as their hairstyles looked suspicious. “On examination, they were found to be wearing wigs and having partly tonsured heads. Two gold paste packets, weighing 698 grams, were found concealed under their wigs, out of which 595 grams of gold was retrieved. Watch the video here: 

In another case, Balu Ganesan, 42, of Trichy, who arrived by the same flight was intercepted and three bundles of gold paste, which had 622 grams of gold, were recovered from his rectum. He has been arrested.

In a release, the officials said that at Chennai airport, in the past two days, a total of 5.55 kilograms of gold, found to be worth Rs 2.53 crore, was seized from passengers arriving from and departing to Gulf countries. The gold was concealed in different ways — under wigs, in passengers’ socks, innerwear and even their rectum. Six people in total have been arrested for trying to smuggle in gold. 

Earlier on Saturday, a 24-year-old man named Anbazhagan, of Villupuram, was intercepted at the Chennai airport’s exit. On searching him, four packets of gold paste — weighing 1.5 kg —  were recovered from his socks and stitched inside his underwear. 

“On extraction, 1.33 kg gold valued at Rs 62 lakhs were recovered and seized,” the Customs said, adding that 26-year-old A Thamin Ansari, a resident of Chennai, 26, who was to collect the gold was also nabbed from outside the airport when he approached the passenger. Both of them were arrested.

In another case, Indigo Flight 6E 66 was searched and eight 10 Tola gold bars with foreign marking weighing 933 grams, valued at Rs. 43.30 lakhs, were found inside a cloth bag that was concealed in the hollow pipe under the seat of the aircraft.

On Friday, Syed Ahamedulla, 22, of Ramanathapuram; Santhosh Selvam, 33, from Salem; and 35-year-old Abdullah, of Chennai, who arrived from Dubai and Sharjah by flights EK 542 and G9471 were intercepted at the exit. Officials said that their hairstyles looked suspicious and on examination, they were found to be having partly tonsured heads and wearing wigs. Three gold paste packets, weighing 2,410 grams, were found concealed under their wigs. On extraction, 2.08 kg gold valued at Rs 96.57 lakhs was recovered and seized under the Customs Act. All three were arrested.

In another case, four passengers bound for Sharjah by flights 6E-8415 and G9-472, were intercepted at the departure terminal after they had cleared Immigration and were proceeding towards the security hold area. “As their hairstyles appeared to be suspicious, on examination they were found to be wearing wigs. On search, 67,500 Saudi Riyals were found to be concealed under their wigs and USD 4,750, 6,500 Dirhams, and 8,00,000 Takas recovered from their pant pockets," the release from Customs said. A total of Rs 24.06 lakhs in foreign currency was recovered and seized under the Customs Act read with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations.

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