- This is the biggest gold haul in Kerala
- Operations were carried out by P A Nowshad, who made use of the loopholes in airport security system
- The gold bars were concealed under the seat of ferry bus
The gang from Muvattupuzha smuggled 1, 928 kg gold in a span of three years, the Customs Department revealed. The authorities were explaining the final investigation report of biggest haul of smuggled gold in Kerala, till date.
The gang had trafficked gold through Cochin International Airport from 2013 to 2015, by influencing immigration officials and flight and ground staff. The operations were carried out by P A Nowshad, who made use of the loopholes in the airport security system to smuggle in gold worth ₹455, 92, 80, 000, from Dubai.
The officials also explained that the gang used a unique method to smuggle bullion. "The gang used to conceal gold bars under the seat of ferry bus. Later, a ground handling staff would collect the bars and hand it over to smugglers waiting outside the terminal. At times they concealed gold in the toilet of the immigration department. As Customs became suspicious, they started to hide it in AC vent. Usually, they preferred the fifth bathroom. Jabin, an immigration officer, used to collect it from the bathroom and used a unique belt to take it outside.
This was a daily affair and at times as much as 16 kg gold was smuggled in a day," customs officer explained.
The payments for staff and carriers were made through hawala channels in UAE and Kerala.
However, Customs failed to find the jewellers who used to receive the gold. It was found that two directors of Bhima Group were having contact with Noushad, but customs officials said there is no evidence to prove that the jewellers had received gold from the gang.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:38 PM