Mumbai: A superior Air India pilot was arrested by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) here for smuggling Rs 15.65 lakh worth of gold bars, which he had put within his checked-in hand bags at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. In the light of recent case of smuggling by team associates of the airlines, elevated level of observation has been kept by airport conventions staff on travelers and team.
The pilot, who was the commander of Air India Flight 932, was apprehended after he flew from Jeddah. Sources in the AIU said behaviour of the pilot was of suspicious following which he was stopped and a recheck was done during which undeclared gold bars weighing more than half a kilogram were recovered from him.This positive approach by customs consequence in the seizure of seven gold bars totally weighing 530 grams valued at Rs. 15,65,567/- (rupees fifteen lakhs sixty five thousand five hundred sixty seven only) from the pilot.
The accused pilot was effecting surreptitious removal of the conveyed gold bars by concealing the similar in his checked in baggage and hand baggage, which was recovered and seized under the provisions of the customs act, 1962. In his report recorded under section 108 of the customs act, 1962, the pilot has confess possession, carriage, concealment and recovery of the said gold bars which were being smuggled into India without payment of proper customs duty and in breaking of the provisions of the customs act, 1962.
This is not the first instance that smuggled gold bars were recovered from Mumbai airport. Barely couple of months back, gold bars was recovered from the washroom of a flight during a check-up by the intelligence department.