A Dubai passenger was detained at Amritsar airport for allegedly smuggling gold while an aerobridge operator was arrested for colluding with him, officials said on Sunday.
The passenger had arrived in Amritsar on Saturday on an Air India Express flight. He was intercepted by customs officers at Sri Guru Ramdas ji International Airport (SGRDJI) in Amritsar.
A statement issued by the customs service indicates that during the search of his luggage, a gold bar weighing 587 grams was found concealed in the shoulder bag.
The gold bar has an estimated market value of Rs 31 lakh and was seized. On further questioning, the passenger admitted he was carrying two gold bars and handed one over to an aerobridge operator.
He said he was ordered to hand over the gold bar to the ground staff member who would approach him and give a code word. To confirm the passenger’s claim, CCTV footage was scanned and the staff member was identified, the statement said.
The operator was an employee of the company that has the contract for aerobridge operations at the airport, he said.
Upon further investigation, the staff member admitted that he had also been involved in gold smuggling on other occasions.
He was handing over the smuggled gold to a colleague who also works as an aerobridge operator at the same company, the statement said.
The duo were arrested and taken into judicial custody for 14 days and efforts are underway to apprehend the other aerobridge operator, the official said.
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