Customs inspector, 7 others arrested in gold smuggling case

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested a Customs Inspector for his alleged involvement in gold smuggling at Tiruchi international airport. Four passengers and three ‘receivers’ have also been nabbed in the case.

Acting on intelligence inputs, a DRI team intercepted four air passengers who landed here from Sharjah by an Air India Express flight on Sunday night.

During inquiry, airport sources said, it was found that the passengers had concealed gold in paste form in their rectum and they were detained for questioning. The team also caught three alleged ‘receivers’ waiting outside the terminal and grilled them as well. The alleged involvement of Customs Inspector Dharmendra Singh came to light.

The gold in paste form was sent for chemical processing, which yielded gold weighing 3.2 kg valued at ₹1.6 crore. The eight persons, including the Customs Inspector, were arrested and produced before the Judicial Magistrate court here and remanded in judicial custody. The smuggled gold was seized. Further investigation was on.

Last month, the DRI in separate operations seized over 11 kg of gold from 10 passengers at the airport.

Three years ago, the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted a surprise check at Tiruchi airport acting on information that Customs officials were colluding with smugglers to evade duty. The ACB booked a case against six Customs officials including an Assistant Commissioner who allegedly received bribes.

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