One person was arrested for attempting to smuggle one-and-a-half kg of gold worth nearly Rs. 45 lakh at Chennai airport late on Wednesday.

An airport source said Sibptin Hyder (35) from Royapettah had arrived from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight at 11.15 p.m. on Wednesday. When the officials checked him, they found the gold in the pocket of his trousers and his hand baggage.

He was arrested and further investigations are on.

In another case, two people who attempted to smuggle gold coins escaped from the airport. Mohammed Rbin Hameed (33) and Ibrahim Shah Abu Backker (42) both from Seven Wells arrived from Colombo by a Jet Airways flight around 4.30 a.m. on Thursday.

They had painted the gold coins, weighing nearly 300 grams, the colour of currency coins and carried them in their hand luggage. This was discovered at the scanner, but before they could be caught, the men disappeared. A search has been launched.

Smuggling of gold has been on the rise in the city of late. Last month alone, gold worth nearly Rs. 5 crore was seized by the customs authorities. Late in August, three people were arrested at the Chennai airport for attempting to smuggle 12 kilos of gold worth nearly Rs. 3 crore. One of the primary reasons for the increase in the smuggling of gold at the city airport could be the increase in the import duty on the metal.

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