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AirAsia Passengers Among 56 held In India For Allegedly Smuggling Gold Bars

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authorities in Andhra Pradesh for allegedly smuggling 62kg of gold bars worth 17 crore rupees (about RM10mil), the Times of India reports.

It is not immediately clear whether Malaysians were among those arrested.

The newspaper said that acting on a tip-off, officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of Chennai, in a special operation on Sunday night, travelled to the Visakhapatnam International Airport and carried out thorough checks on two flights from Kuala Lumpur and one from Singapore.

The officers initially checked 20 passengers of an AirAsia flight who were carrying a lot of electronic items, and found gold bars concealed inside the items, the daily reported.

A check on 10 passengers of a Silk Air flight from Singapore also found gold bars in contained in electronic goods.

A check on 25 AirAsia passengers on a second flight from Kuala Lumpur also revealed smuggled gold bars.

According to the daily, many of those arrested were frequent travellers and most of them were acting as couriers.

“They indulge in such business for monetary considerations. Depending upon the quantity, the couriers would get paid,” it quoted the DRI authorities as saying.

The couriers would always look for new avenues and new destinations, officials said.

Another possibility is that new flights would have been introduced between Visakhapatnam and Southeast Asian destinations or the frequency of flights between the two destinations could have been increased, added the officials.

So, it could have attracted the couriers to switch over to the new destination, away from their home, they said. – Bernama

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