Cochin: Two persons were arrested in a case of gold smuggling at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Friday.

According to media reports, officials seized 3.3 kilograms of gold worth Rs 1 crore from the accused, Paul Jose (28) from Nayathode in Eranakulum district and Muhammed Ashraf (27) from Malappuram district. Paul Jose was a ground staff at Cochin airport, while Muhammed Ashraf had landed on an Emirates flight from Dubai at the airport, early on Friday morning.

Two gold bars, two pieces of a gold bar, four coins and two smaller gold bars were seized by the DRI team. The smuggled material was apparently taped to the inside of the accused’s hand baggage. According to a report by the Times of India, the accused were planning to carry out the exchange at a washroom after entering the airport. A DRI official said that the ground handling staff admitted to taking part in these exchanges a couple of times previously. Officials who were tipped off about the exchange kept a close watch on the Jose’s activities.

Jose had allegedly smuggled gold out of the airport on previous occasions by providing wheelchair assistance to the needy and snuck out through the staff gate. He would hide the material in his shoe or body.

A report by Deccan Chronicle stated that the DRI was on alert after receiving information about the exchange that was to take place on Friday at the airport.  Instead of the customs, the DRI team was sent for the raid, with the expectation that the accused would try to flee the premises before the exchange even took place.

The DRI official said that the accused met each other and entered the restroom, after which the carrier handed over the consignment. The duo was nabbed as soon as they exited the restroom area.