Kochi: There are many criticisms of the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) Customs’ lack of competence to track gold smuggling in its aisles, its only resource being people who could alert the arrival of probable contraband. . A cache – weighing over 2.75kg of gold – was created after a gap of more than two months at Kochi airport – again, an interception that occurred from a report of ‘a rival smuggling gang. According to sources, a customs caller informed that concealed gold was being carried by a pair, which led to the arrest of the two.
Interestingly, as cache levels have increased at other airports, CIAL has seen a decrease in gold smuggling activity. The airport is equipped with modern scanners and a canine squad to detect gold and contraband drugs and yet in July it was security personnel at the domestic terminal who caught a Zimbabwe national with sugar. brown worth crores after passing through customs control intact. An accomplice who arrived with the culprit fled by road and was subsequently caught by DRI personnel.
Intelligence previously reported that Kochi International Airport has become the preferred transit point for drug and gold smuggling gangs operating in the state. It is suspected that the airport’s air customs division having ceased to function, a link between smugglers and airport staff is behind this trend.