New Delhi: Airport officials are allegedly working in nexus with gold smugglers in India to collect gold consignments from carriers and then successfully get it cleared from security check.

CISF has arrested an air conditioning technician at Trivandrum airport and confiscated 9.9 kg of gold worth over Rs 3 crore from him. CISF officer deployed at staff gate noticed the suspicious activities of an air conditioning technician who was identified as Aneesh Kumar R L while entering into the terminal building from the operational area.

CISF official called Aneesh for body frisking, but he ignored and went inside the terminal building. He was again called and checked by the security men who found 3.6 kg of gold bars wrapped in black tape in his possession. Guards then checked a dustbin where Aneesh had dropped something before checking and found that another consignment of 3.15 kg of gold bars was wrapped in black tape and stashed inside the bin.

When he was grilled about the gold bars, Aneesh disclosed that he had dropped one more parcel of 3.15 kg gold bars in a dustbin placed at aerobridge 25, which was also recovered by the CISF.

During questioning, he revealed that he collected these gold packets at aerobridge-25 of International terminal building from an arrival passenger named Muhammed Hanee Sudheer, a resident of Trivandrum who arrived from Dubai by Emirates Airlines. “His job was to collect the parcel and clear the security check point and then hand over the consignment to the passenger outside the airport premises,” said a senior official.

Employees working inside IGI airport have a valid ID card issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). Due to this, they have access to the arrival, departure, and security holding area. They roam freely around the airport without raising suspicion.

A total of 9.9 kg of gold bars worth Rs 3 crore were seized from him. Investigators are trying to find other people involved in the nexus. Smuggling of gold to India from foreign countries via airport route is increasing. To deceive security agencies, gold smugglers are getting more creative by the day. From hiding gold inside the lining of the suitcase to concealing precious metal as used automobile spare parts, smugglers are using innovative modus-operandi to bring gold into India illegally.

This is not the first time an airport staff has been found involved in smuggling. Last year the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had busted an international gold smuggling syndicate which was running with the help of employees of kiosk shops at Delhi's IGI airport. DRI claims to have seized around 6.6 kg gold having a market value of Rs 2.1 crore.