Gold Smuggling Crackdown at Mumbai Airport Leads to Arrests

The arrests and seizures at Mumbai Airport underscore the ongoing efforts by authorities to combat gold smuggling and illicit trade activities.

Gold Smuggling Crackdown at Mumbai Airport Leads to Arrests

In a series of operations targeting gold smuggling, Mumbai Airport Customs apprehended several individuals, resulting in significant seizures and arrests. The crackdown, carried out by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs Department, saw the arrest of both Indian and Kenyan nationals, highlighting the international scope of the illicit trade.

Indian Passenger Caught with Contraband

The first arrest occurred when customs officials intercepted Amit Parasmal Jain, an Indian passport holder arriving from Dubai via an Indigo Airline flight. Upon searching Jain, authorities discovered 44 gold bars weighing a total of 5,127 grams, valued at an estimated ₹3.25 crore. Jain confessed to purchasing the gold in Dubai with the intention of selling it in India to turn a profit, underscoring the lure of India's lucrative gold market for smugglers.

Kenyan Nationals Caught in Smuggling Scheme

In a separate operation, three Kenyan women — Samira Mohamed Abdi, Feiza Abdi Dekh Hassan, and Fardowsa Ahmed Abdi — were apprehended upon their arrival from Addis Ababa. Despite attempting to declare their gold items, customs officials detected discrepancies, prompting a search that revealed 11 gold bars concealed in Samira’s undergarments. Hassan and Abdi confessed to supplying the gold for smuggling purposes. The total contraband, weighing 4,483 grams and valued at ₹2.60 crore, was intended for sale in the Indian market, highlighting the organized nature of the smuggling network.

Broader Crackdown Yields Significant Seizures

The arrests were part of a broader crackdown on gold smuggling at Mumbai Airport, with Customs officials seizing over 6.39 kg of gold valued at ₹4.05 crore across 12 cases between May 3 and May 6. The seizures included various forms of concealment, such as gold dust, crude jewelry, and ingeniously hidden gold bars, showcasing the diverse methods employed by smugglers to evade detection. One notable seizure involved a passenger traveling from Nairobi to Mumbai who concealed crude gold rhodium-plated jewelry in their jeans pocket, underscoring the challenges faced by authorities in detecting and intercepting smuggling attempts.

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