Gold smuggling: Shrewd gang of airport staff under scanner
Thiruvananthapuram: Smugglers got information about revenue intelligence inspection the very moment officials stepped into the airport terminal. Likewise, Serina who smuggled 25kg gold five days before through the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, also received information about the intelligence inspection the moment she deboarded.
Before bein1g nabbed, Serina deleted all the information from her four mobile phones she had. Officials found that she got the information about the arrival of officials from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence from the airport staff through WhatsApp.
Adv Biju, who arrived at the airport outside the terminal building to collect the smuggled gold, also received the message and escaped immediately. Serina and his associate Sunil Kumar brought gold by a flight that flew from Dubai to Thiurvananthapuram via Muscat. They had paid tax for the gold in Muscat. It is assumed that DRI received information regarding smuggling from here.
The modus operandi is that they hand over the bag containing gold to airport staff before it reaches customs section. Airport staff will deliver it outside the terminal building avoiding customs inspection. Revenue Intelligence has found that a huge racket of airport staff operates in this. Information about them has been collected and the process to take them into custody has been initiated.
The racket operates with all pre-requisites of not getting trapped in legal entanglements. When the accused were produced before the court, a group of lawyers appeared at the court to save them. Besides, the accused changed their statements before court.