Mumbai: A Malaysian and a Singapore national, both women, were caught smuggling ₹1.20 crore in gold jewellery at the international airport on Saturday. The duo had tied the jewellery to their upper arms and waists to avoid detection. A third person waiting to receive the women was also held.
The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Airport Customs intercepted Malaysian national Santaletchmi Superamaniam (41) and Singaporean Magisvary Jairaman (59), who arrived from Singapore by Jet Airways flight 9W 009 at 3 p.m. A personal search resulted in the recovery of assorted 24-carat crude gold jewellery, collectively weighing four kg.
Deputy Commissioner of Customs (AIU) Pradnyasheel Jumle said, “The gold jewellery including chains and kadas were cleverly concealed by the passengers. Both were arrested.” He added that an accomplice waiting outside the Arrivals area was also arrested. All three were produced in the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate with their remand application, who remanded them in judicial custody in a city jail.
On Friday, Mohammedali Kekepuram, who was returning from his fifth foreign trip in seven months, was caught smuggling gold based on a specific tip-off. Shadowed by AIU officers, Kekepuram entered a toilet near the immigration counter before proceeding to Customs clearance counter, where the AIU team searched him and his baggage thoroughly, but found nothing suspicious.
Since they had specific information, the officers searched the toiled used by the suspect, and found push buttons for the flush in two stalls to be loose. Upon removing the buttons, they found that the wall cavity could be accessed from the service room on the other side, and 1.1 kg gold worth Rs 34 lakh hidden in it. Kekepuram is suspected of using this unique modus operandi on previous trips as well. He was arrested and later released on bail.