In a well-coordinated operation on September 10, 2022, Mumbai Airport Customs seized 12 Kg gold valued at INR 5.38 crores from a group of Sudanese passengers who had arrived at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) by Emirates Flight EK-500 from Dubai.
A group of around 23 Sudanese gathered and attempted to clear the green channel by creating commotion to divert attention of the customs officers. The Sudanese passengers deliberately created a ruckus at customs arrival area through visible signs and acts of aggression including shouting at the officers and even indulging in physical bouts. However, the customs officers remained professional and through reasonable force officers were able to restrain the hostile passengers and manage the situation. The modus operandi was to create a commotion at the customs arrival area to facilitate sly escape of passenger carrying gold.
Effective and swift execution by customs officers resulted in recovery of 12 gold bars of one Kg each concealed in a specially designed belt worn by one passenger trying to slip away under the cover of commotion. In this matter, five other passengers who deliberately acted in hostile manner to divert attention of the customs officers were also detained for questioning.
The investigation revealed that the six passengers had arrived at Mumbai airport with a pre-planned strategy to create situations to help slipping away of one passenger with the seized gold. The five passengers have admitted being part of the pre-conceived conspiracy to smuggle gold and have also been arrested along with the passenger from whom the gold was recovered. All have been remanded to judicial custody of 14 days till 23.09.2022.
In addition, six other Sudanese passengers who added to the commotion by constantly resisting customs check were apprehended. With the help of Bureau of Immigration, Mumbai Airport office, these six passengers have been blacklisted and sent back to Sudan.
Further investigation is going on.