The Customs Department seized 3.11 kg of gold valued at Rs 1.66 crore from 11 passengers who arrived from Saudi Arabia at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on Thursday night, officials said on Friday.
The Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs Department intercepted the passengers who arrived by Vande Bharat Mission flight from Dammam. During the frisking, the officials found gold biscuits concealed in the secret pockets in the trousers of the 11 men, who all hail from north Telangana.
The passengers told the officials during questioning that some unknown persons handed them over the gold biscuits at Dammam Airport and asked them to deliver to their contacts in Hyderabad.
The investigating officials suspect that the smugglers bought tickets for the gold carriers and might have also given them some money for expenses during a 14-day mandatory quarantine which they will have to undergo before they are allowed to go home.
A case under the Customs Act was registered against the 11 men. The officials took up the investigations to find out the members of the smuggling gang. Meanwhile, on Friday, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) seized 78.5 kg of sandalwood at the RGIA. Five Sudanese nationals were intercepted while trying to smuggle sandalwood to Sudan. They were about to board a special relief flight to Khartoum when the airport officials intercepted them.
The sandalwood was found in their luggage during a routine security check.The CISF handed over the seized sandalwood and the five persons to the Customs Department for further investigation.The Sudanese nationals had procured the sandalwood during their stay in Hyderabad and were planning to sell it in Sudan.