The attempt by passengers arriving from Colombo and Singapore to bring in gold undeclared, on two separate dates, is believed to be linked to the festival season. The group from Singapore consisted of 18 members and was carrying 4.7 kilos of the yellow metal.
Gold ornaments weighing more than 5 kg and 69.5 grams of platinum jewellery which were not declared by a group of travellers were seized by the Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs at Chennai airport during the last weekend.
Providing details of the seizure, R. Periasami, Commissioner of Customs (Airport), said, on Saturday, the Customs authorities on suspicion intercepted four passengers who arrived from Colombo by two different flights. They were found to be carrying gold ornaments, weighing 755 grams. The passengers had not declared to the Customs authorities that they were carrying gold. Following this the entire quantity of gold ornaments were seized from them.
In a second incident on Sunday 18 passengers who came from Singapore by three different flights were stopped by the Customs authorities following a tip off. A senior officer said the authorities were able to get the list of passengers arriving at Chennai with the gold ornaments along with flight details. This helped them identify the passengers and trace the gold that they had brought.
The second batch of 18 passengers were in possession of 4.7 kg of gold ornaments besides 69.5 grams of platinum jewellery.
The authorities are investigating whether a group was involved in this operation. The smuggling attempt was apparently made in view of the festival season, added Mr. Periasami.