The contraband, valued at Rs.35 lakh, was concealed in a box, which was seen ‘casually dropped’ in a waste bin inside the toilet

Customs enforcers on Sunday seized 1 kg of gold from the toilet of an aircraft that landed here from Dubai. The contraband, valued at Rs.35 lakh, was concealed in a box, which was seen ‘casually dropped’ in a waste bin inside the toilet, enforcers said.

The Customs Preventive Unit, headed by Additional Commissioner Sofia M. Joy was on a stake-out at the international airport here since early morning after its agents were warned by their informants that a passenger travelling on an Emirates flight would attempt to smuggle an unknown amount of gold.

When they found no unaccounted gold on any of the passengers, the Customs officials entered the aircraft and searched the aisle, seats, toilet and overhead storage cavities. Investigators said they suspected a Chennai-based gang to be behind the smuggling operation. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had recently seized 7 kg of gold found hidden in the toilet of a Sri Lankan aircraft.

The agency said they were verifying the antecedents and mobile phone call details of certain airport ground crew responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the aircraft. The Customs department confiscated the aircraft and released it on the basis of an undertaking executed by its captain.