Eight persons including four Afghans and a senior official of a firm managing cargo operations at Indira Gandhi International Airport were arrested for smuggling gold worth Rs 3.5 crore.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials claimed to have busted a syndicate of gold smugglers involving an international airline crew and ground handling staff at the airport.
Acting on specific intelligence that foreign-origin gold was being smuggled into the country by a crew member of Afghanistan-based Kam Air flight arriving from Kabul, the DRI officials laid a trap on Monday and intercepted four gold bars weighing over 13 kgs valued at about Rs 3.5 crore, they said.
“A flight engineer of Kam Air, two airport staff and five conspirators have been arrested,” said R K Digvijay, Joint Director, DRI Delhi zonal unit.
The modus operandi was that the crew member of Kam Air would hand over the gold bars to the airport staff inside the aircraft. The airport staff would then conceal the gold bars in their shoes and take them out of the airport from the staff gate on the tarmac side, he said.
“Thereafter, they would deliver the gold bars near the airport to the other members of the syndicate for disposal in the local market,” Digvijay said.
Those arrested include a senior staff of one of the firms involved in managing cargo operations at the airport, another senior DRI official said.
The DRI has informed Afghanistan Embassy here of the arrest of its four nationals in the case.