Customs officials at the Chennai Airport busted a unique smuggling attempt when they found expensive gadgets like new iPhones and Google phones with 113 out 186 passengers who arrived via Oman Air flight on Thursday.
The investigation revealed that a man used his fellow passengers as kuruvis (carriers) to smuggle the expensive items.
When all the passengers were detained and enquired, one of the passengers accepted that the phone was handed over to them by a co-passenger on the flight, promising commission, chocolates, and goodies upon return of the phone in Chennai airport.
According to sources, the Chennai airport customs officials received a tip-off that more than a hundred passengers were smuggling a large amount of gold, iPhones, laptops, and saffron in the Oman Airlines flight that arrived at the Chennai airport from Muscat. A total of 186 passengers were on that flight.
Since it was not clear who among them was involved in the smuggling racket, all the passengers were stopped and interrogated for hours. Out of which, it was confirmed that 73 people were not involved in the smuggling affairs. Following this, the police searched the other 113 passengers. It was revealed that they were hiding gold nuggets and gold bracelets inside their underwear.On checking their suitcases and bags, there were many secret compartments in which 13 kg of gold, 120 iPhones, 84 Android phones, foreign cigarettes, and laptops were hidden.
The total value of the confiscated items is over Rs 14 crore. Subsequently, the customs officials booked cases against 113 persons under the Customs Act and released them on bail.