It was being taken from Kolkata to Coimbatore

The city police on Saturday evening arrested three men at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) who were transporting 54 kg of gold, estimated to be worth Rs. 16.5 crore, from Kolkata (West Bengal) to Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu). The accused — Balasubramanya, Ravivarma R. and Ishwar Murthy — claimed to be senior sales executives of a jewellery unit in Coimbatore.

City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H. Auradkar told reporters that he was alerted about three persons boarding a Jet Airways flight in Kolkata with a large quantity of gold. The Coimbatore-bound flight was scheduled to land in Bangalore around 6 p.m. for a stopover.

Senior officers rushed to the airport and seized three hand bags containing 54 gold biscuits each weighing a kg along with some gold valuables from the trio who are in their thirties. When questioned, the trio claimed that the gold had been purchased from Scotiabank in Mumbai and was delivered to them in Kolkata. It was going to be used for making ornaments, they said.

The Police Commissioner said that the men had a photocopy of the purchase receipt but no documents to explain the transportation of such a large quantity of the precious metal. They could not explain why the gold was not delivered in Coimbatore, said Mr. Auradkar.

The police are investigating how the bags got past security and onto the flight. They have informed the Central Industrial Security Force, Customs Department, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Income Tax Department and their counterparts in Kolkata regarding the development.

The city police said that the Kolkata police have arrested a man who may be an associate of the trio. They may come to Bangalore to question the trio.

More In: Bangalore