Panaji: Two Sri Lankan passengers were arrested with 12 gold bars valued at Rs 3.60 crore from the Goa International Airport Wednesday, police said.
The smuggling was detected by Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officials of the Commissionerate of Customs and Central Excise at the airport, officials said.
The gold bars, each weighing one kg, was detected while rummaging Air India aircraft number AI 984 which came to Goa from Dubai via Mumbai in the morning, Commissioner V P C Rao told reporters at a press conference this evening.
Two packets of six gold bars each were found underneath the seat wrapped in carbon paper, he added.
The gold was passed on to these passengers by their accomplices, who arrived from Dubai to Mumbai by this international flight, which gets converted later into a domestic flight.
"This is a novel modus operandi adopted to smuggle gold from Dubai to hoodwink the Customs department, since they would escape the Customs radar at Customs exit points and the smuggled gold can be safely taken out of the aircraft by the other gang of smugglers posing as domestic passengers," Rao said.
Earlier last month, Customs and Central excise sleuths had cracked two cases of gold smuggling involving Sri Lankans.